Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last workout of the year.

Got a late cancellation so I had some time to get in a quick workout today and celebrate the last workout of 2009.IN just a week we will celebrate the start of Girya's EIGHTH YEAR in business! That's so hard to imagine.
I was feeling very happy because I was feeling no ill effect from yesterdays snatches and swings and the day before yoga training so I decided to do some clubbell work, something relatively safe for me,lol.
I was going to title this post "3oo" as I had plans of doing three sets of 100 in the arm casts but after the first two sets of 100 my triceps told I should back off and be satisfied with just "200". LOL, I'll TAKE it

Clubbell Arm Cast

10 lb club continuous 100 reps: 30/30/20/20

15lb club continuous arm casts 100 reps :switching every ten reps.

Great arm pump and my triceps were already a bit tender from the previous days snatches. All good though.
Happy New Year to All!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

100 24 kg snatches.

Not in a row. That would be decent, but for me, today, it was almost as good. Just a few weeks off a pretty nasty back setback doing 10 sets of 5/5 with the 24 kg in the snatch was very, very satisfying. Way less scary than last week when I literally did not know what was going to happen to my back set to set. And that was only 5 sets and 50 reps. Today the weight felt light, the form felt solid and I was almost confident I was going to come through the workout unscathed.

With my beautiful and seriously hardcore wife cheering me of I thought that anything over 5 sets would be a sucess and I ended up with ten easy. No worries on the back and the form felt solid. Back to bare feet from my olympic lifting shoes felt right. It all felt right and i made sure to really concentrate on letting the bell 'swing' and not pulling early with my arm, but letting the hips soak up the stress and reversing it as strongly as possible. Followed the snatches up with 120 swings with the 24 to chin height and they felt strong and solid.
Why did I ever stop training the swing completly? Crazy. Never again

12 kg x5/5 x2
16kg x5/5 x2
20 kg x5/5 x2

24 kg x5/5 x 10 set
100 reps
5200 lbs work

One arm swings
24 kg x 10/10 x 6 sets
120 reps
6360 lbs

wow, I've forgotten just how much pure work swings are. These kicked my butt. I made sure to swing them solidly above the chest but they were working me hard. too hard. I made sure to really keep my hips square and my kneecaps pulled up and the glutes tight for every rep and this made 20 reps seem like a long time. I can't believe I've done 600 reps with this weight and 400 with the 32 kg. seems like another lifetime ago. I will do it again.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Tom Platz

I just wanted legs like this

and this is how you got them.
Tom Platz invented bodybuilding intensity.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Music to snatch and squat by.

get to it.

Volume first, then speed.

Back to work today in the max vo2 snatches and still choose to focus on getting my volume back before I start to really push the speed. I am still in the process of figuringout where my center of balance is, and although it is going well I don't want to get greedy and try to really accelerate maximally before I know my back is safe enough to tolerate it.

One of my discoveries of late is that my back injury is as much related to my thoracic immobility as it is to my back. Thanks again to Leslie Wu for pointing out the in "Z" world, the thoracic region is the corresponding area to the lumbar spine. Duh. I should have known that but now i do.

So I went to work there and realized just how rotated I was left to right. LOTS of overhead stick stretches; freestanding, on the floor on my back as well as against the wall( which REALLY showcased how rotated I was). The one against the wall also showed me how interelated it all is because as I stretched myself into "square" I noticed my middle finger going numb, a sure sign of C7 compression. Wow.It went away but I approached that stretch much more gingerly.
Bretzels, standing bow stretches right arm only, behind the back stick stretches with both grips AND reconfiguring my center base by standing on my LEFT leg THEN resetting my right leg down.

Way too much work just to be almost square but hey, whatcha gonnna do? Lie down and watch TV. I would but that hurts too,lol. Another of my five million favorite sayings is that"the only thing harder than figuring something out is remembering to do it" and that goes for me as well as you. I realized last year that I had to set my center base off my left leg but forgot how crucial that was. THings were going so well I thought it had solifified. Guess not.
If I have my base off my stronger, more dominant right leg my thoracic area shifts left and everything goes wrong. Now I know. Just have to not forget again.

Got to Girya early after a 'passive warmup' super hot bath; did all my stretching then started in with light swings with the 12 and 16 kg to warmup. Swings will become a mainstay again, slowly but surely.

Snatches 15:30 freestyle max vo2

12 kg x 7/7 x 3

16 kgx8 x38 sets
304 reps
10994 lbs

This went very well.As usual I started off slow and got faster. I decided since I was not on the clock I had to get 8's at least. I tried not to rest too long between sets. The entire thing took me 30 minutes which is how long it should take for 60 sets on the clock. MY sets of 8 were in the 15 sec range I'm sure but my rest was probably 30 seconds average. Maybe longer at the start and faster towards the end.

Tracy asked my how many sets I was going to do and I told her " one set less than will tighten up my back". I wanted to do 50 but at 35 felt some tell tale sign and settled on 40. I decided to stop at 38 as I really don't want things to go south tomorrow and decided discretion was the better part, etc. etc.

Had I know I would be TWO REPS behind Rob O'Brien in our snatch race I would have done another damn set,lol:

Rob O'Brien 44,860
Mark Reifkind 44,858

One arm swings

20 kg x10/10 x 5 sets

2 reps per arm more than last week. Damn these were hard after snatches.

Clubbell arm casts

10 lbs x 100 reps continuous switching after 10 reps per arm

15lbx100 reps continuous switching after 10 reps per arm

these went great.

Two Hand Clubbell
25lbs x 5/5 barbarian press
x5/5 sheild casts
x5/5 Barbarian sheild casts

great! slowly ramping up the volume of the total workout.

off to yoga in an hour.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It ain't over yet.

Tracy and I have been training at ten am on Wednesdays lately ,which is about perfect for me. The best combination of early enough to have high energy and late enough to actually be warmed up and stretched out enough . The tin man is oiled at ten.
But working and getting paid has to take priority so it was 12 noon for us. Not much of a difference lately but for some reason I was awake at 2am and that's all I got.I'm used to not sleeping much but in combo with weird back feelings and I was a bit nervous. Especially since I wanted to give the 24 kg a ride today as well.

Probably not the smartest thing to do but sometimes I get tweaked sleeping so you never know what's gonna hurt you or push the reset button and get you back on track.I always have a wait and see attitude these days and today was no different.

I had to fight the urge to do a bunch of 16 kg snatches to catch up with Rob but reminded myself not to stay off my plan. One day of max vo2 and one day of heavy(er) snatches. I toyed, for a moment,of deciding that the 20 kg was heavy enough for me these days. I am 52, soon to be 53 in March, with more injuries than I can count and no one would say a thing if the heaviest bell I picked up was the 20kg. Hell, I can take my RKC snatch test with it and feel justified in doing so. It is the 'official' weight.

But I know that if my back is good that the 24 is nothing for me, and if it's not; then the 20 won't save me. Decision time.Step up or fade out. It seems like these are way too common for me lately. Like the last ten years. Yeah, getting old is great, :))

I also had an hour break and decided to really stretch out, rifga style and try to see which direction my new center of balance has gone.It didnt take long.After all this sacrum shifting it seems my right overhead should ROM and mobility has relapsed.Where the hell did that come from?

Don't know but there it was. And when I reached up for the TAPS bar to hang out I could feel the right lat restriction and the transfer of tension ( and pain!) into my left SI. Lovely. But hey, at least its some info about this new landscape I am living( trying to survive in) looks like.

Did some overhead stretching and realized I was seriously rotate right to left and trying to square up with bar arms overhead was tricky. I did the stretch against a wall and in front of the mirror and that helped.

I bretzled and that helped.I did more overhead stick stretches and back over ball bends and stretched the lat and shoulder out and I could feel it was right.No wonder my left legged trikinasana has been giving me so much grief.My left to right thoracic mobility was shut off.

But it was scary time when my beautiful training and life partner showed up and it was go time.
Nothing like standing on the edge of the abyss and hanging ten. Nothing like not knowing if your back might explode with any rep, no matter how 'right' they were done.
Nothing like knowing if you didnt at least try; if you gave in to the terror you were done for. Not just this workout of course, but life.
It's more than a slippery slope and when you live with chronic pain it's easy to forget that doing nothing , as in staying in bed all day or 'taking it easy' doesnt help. It makes things worse, cause it makes you weak. The only way forward is through and sometimes it just aint fun.

I think I burned more calories from the anxiety of the workout than the workload but I think it's fine. Will know tomorrow. But for now, I win.Weakness looses. Again.

12 kg x 5/5/x3
20 kgx5/5x2

24kgx5/5 x 5 sets
50 reps
2650 lbs

They felt fine and the video looks pretty square to me . for me ;although the right overhead is soft. I also started alternating starting arms,as I know I have been starting on the left for many months.Everything works, nothing works forever.Little things matter sometimes. I also stayed with the wrestling shoes and that seemed right, too.

one arm swings
24 kg x8/8 x 5 sets

again, need to get these back in the mix regularly no matter what. They felt good and solid, so different than snatch groove. miss them

Snatch holds
16 kg x30 sec x 3 sets

These also have to get back in the mix to stay current on my right arm overhead position. Details and more details. just lots more overhead and left to right thoracic stretching to be done.At least I know where the problem is; THAT was driving me nuts, not being able to diagnose where this thing came from. At least I have a clue now.


Monday, December 21, 2009

When I was Rob's age.

Rob O'brien decided to take advantage of my recent setback to turn up the heat in our race to 50 thousand snatches. Good man,I would have done the same. Here's a picture of me when I was Rob's age. Wish I would have had a kettlebell then,lol.
It ain't over yet Rob!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I don't care if it's not in vogue anymore

I learned more from Paul Chek than I have from anyone other than Louie Simmons and Pavel. Chek in his prime

Free Style Max Vo2

So far so good. Beside a ton of life stress this week my back held together well; I can sleep and bend and work pretty much stiffness and pain free. Yet it's always in the back of my head now to be very careful as I'm really not sure what made it 'go out' last time. Nor 'go in'.
I just know I have to be as tension free as possible( muscularly and mentally) so I can stay as square,plumb and neutral as possible. Yeah, this is gonna be fun,lol.Stretching out, very regularly remains a big part of my training and my day. No problem.And that does not count yoga,either,lol.

Today is Max Vo2 day down at Girya and I knew Tracy and Meg were gonna go hard at it and I didnt want to be pulled into that before I knew at all how my back would handle any real volume.SO I let them do their "down" week( which meant 80 sets of EIGHT, but with just the 12 kg) and I did what I call freestyle Max vo2 training.

Back in the Day, The Blond Bomber hisself, Dave Draper used to train like this( still might as far as I know- Laree?) going on instinct ( not to mention years of real deal experience) to pick exercises, weights, reps AND rest periods.His eye was on the goal of the workout, not necessarily any particular grouping of those variables. He knew what he needed his body to feel at the end of the workout in order to accomplish his physique goal of continued progress.
Robby Robinson used to train like that too, talking about the gym being his 'playground'.

I have way too much OCD to train like that usually but in these circumstances( injury, fear, etc) it seems like a good idea.
I know I wanted to get back into max training; I know i wanted to do 7's and maybe 8's but I also knew that I didnt want to get into real cardio fatigue AS I was trying to move my total body as fast as possible just 2 weeks after tweaking.

SO I did it free style.I started with 7's and rested as long as I wanted to. It was probably no more than 30 seconds per set but I didnt want to look.Having Tracy and Meg blasting away just a few feet from me was plenty of inspiration not to rest too long. But not getting hurt was paramount.

I am also changing my groove a bit too, going back to the wrestling shoe and a slightly wider stance.This can also throw things off.

Since I am a slow 'warmer- upper' even when I'm un injured I knew I was speed up as I warmed up and got a groove going, as well as convincing myself I wasn't doing any harm. SO the rest periods got shorter each set even when I went from 7's to 8's after 25 sets.

It's really so nice NOT to be locked to the damn gym boss; to be able to wipe the sweat, get some chalk, take a drink.especially as much as I sweat. that's usually a big distraction anyway.Wet kettlebells really tear up the hands much faster and make it really hard to do the reps right.Too much grip stress also threatens my shoulder health. Ah ain't old age and injury lovely?

heres the deal

Freestyle Max Vo2
12kg x7/7x4

16 kg x7x25 sets
16 kg x8 x 15 sets

40 total sets
295 reps
10,620 lbs

Not bad numbers at all, looking at it.I am very pleased with this. It's more than a start, and it will keep Rob OBrien from catching me towards my 50 K snatch goal,lol.

One arm swings
20kg x10/10 x5 sets

wow,I have really lost ground here.It's SO much different than snatches I actually forgot! THis is the key movement and I can't wait to build back up to the 32 kb swings again. MY PR is 400 reps in one workout with the 32 kg one arm swing and 600 with the 24 kg. Great goals. I do need another day to work JUST swings though. In time.

Clubbell Arm Casts
10 lbs x 15/15
15lb x12/12
20 lbs x8/8 x 3sets

Clubbell Sheild Cast
10 lbs x20/20
15 lbs x 15/15

these were great too. I am going to stay away from swipes again for awhile ,not sure how the close stance stuff is on my sacrum. adding in the one arm swings is priority anyway and I just do the clubs to keep my arms big, lol.

Alright thats it for now, the next test is yoga in an hour and a half. Real easy, just a stretch :0)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back to the beginning.

I survived my second Bikrams class in three days yesterday but today was snatch day. Last week did not turn out as planned as my back went south just two days after my snatch workout.Lots of things conspired for that to happen and while the 8 kg snatches and swings I did on Saturday were a welcome relief from my back pain and spasms, but not much of a condidence builder when thinking of 24 kg snatches.

I have been wearing my olympic lifting boots for my snatches for many months. My back just seemed to like it and my instinct told me to try them when I did. I even wore them to work last week as they seemed to provide a better position for my pelvic tilt and I now listen to these instincts.But then, as the workout approach and my back was feeling better my instincts told me to wear my wrestling shoes and I resisted pretty strongly at first.

My center of balance has shifted, I feel, I going back to the wrestling shoe, and the snatch form that accompanies it, seemed like a good idea. Go back to the form I had before I was tweaked. Restoring normal ranges of motion is usually the first thing I try to do after a back injury. The more 'weird' I walk , giving into the pain, the worse it seems to get and the longer it takes to get out of it.

Using patterns that didnt hurt just days ago seems to 'reset' my nervous system. Hey, when you are in serious pain you will try ALL KINDS of things.
Happy to report it went well( really will know tomorrow am) but I could snatch and swing in a normal pattern without pain! Yeah! Scary as hell but I did it.And in my wrestling shoes.
Started really light and built up to the 20 kg pretty easily.Good stuff.

12 kg x5/5 x3
20 kg x5/5x4

Here's some video of a 20 kg set. Things look pretty square to me. As square as I get,lol. The shirt's off so I could see my spinal and hip alignment but it's nice to see I haven't lost all my muscle in my old age.

just very happy I could do the movement AT ALL without pain. A freakin' miracle. Thank you God.Just hope the back holds tomorrow :))

One arm swings
20 kg x10/10 x 4 sets

These HAVE to get back into my workouts. HAVE TO. These are the true base of my snatch and I have neglected them too long. It felt very weird to swing again. It's been a year of nothing but snatches. talk about minimalist. No more. It's also interesting(to me) that I could snatch in the OL heel but I didn't want to swing in it ever. swings are truly the foundation and the really power and condtioning builder.and as safe as you're gonna get.

One arm clubbell swipes
10 lbs x 10/10/10/10
15lb x10/10/10/10
20 lbs x5/5/5/5x2

these were a bit scary with the close stance but I don't want to do any bilateral movments.this is so strong for me I just WISH I could really test this hard and go all out. I know I could do the 25 lb for high reps if Icould trust my back, which I cannot.

One arm clubbell casts
20 lb x8/8 x2

This is awsome for my triceps. love it.

Ok, that's it. Here's praying that I wake up mobile tomorrow. My fingers are crossed.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where do I start?

ON the HKC Community Board someone wanted a discussion about this article which dismisses KB training as a trendy fad that will injure you. I need a good nights sleep and some coffee before taking it on but here goes. This is my answer on the board:

To begin with, if the author hasn't been trained in proper kb usage,i.e. RKC techniques, then he probably has no idea what real kb training is about.
WAAAY to many people think a KB is nothing more than a dumbell with a different handle and use it that way. from that perspective it's not that unique a tool....

He actually makes OUR case for using the kb with the statement "Therefore, we must choose the most "bang for your buck" movements".
Which we agree, it's just that the KB swing, Getup and Snatch are what we say ARE the biggest bang for the buck movements.This is not to say that athletes in competitive sports such as football or track don't need to train with barbells. If the sport requires a high degress of absolute strength then yes, barbell training is imperative.

The kb is STILL the second tool of choice, imo for the biggest bang for the buck.If we are speaking of noncompetitive persons then 99% have no need for barbell training when kbs exist.
Heavy high intensity squats will wreck more people then help them,beleive me, I know. and I LOVE the barbell squat.

And why does everyone think that High Performance is the Holy Grail of exercise and training when it doesn't relate(statistically) to most ANYBODY in the exercise world and to those that it does it matters for literally milliseconds in their training life?KB training is applicable to almost everybody( at least how WE teach it) AND will up High Performance as well.
Power to the People.
Not just the athlete.

The fact that the author compares barbell olympic lifts to kb CLEARLY shows he has NO understanding of proper kb technique.
He also states the KB training is a higher risk for shoulder injuries, another clue that he has no understanding of the state of the Art KB Training, i.e The RKC.
Nothing will jack your average athletes shoulders up faster than doing barbell snatches and jerks.Olympic lifting is a SERIOUS sport and needs very specific training which most athletes don't have the time or need for. Not to mention the incredibly high injury risk and rate.

As far as the"performance gap" between doing a 40 lb kb clean( ????) and a 220 lb barbell clean he shows again he doesnt know anything about kb training.The science of "acceleration forces" used in proper kb training( up to FOUR TIMES the stated weight on the bell for a Hardstyle snatch) negate this argument AND a 220 lb barbell clean is not that common, nor easy to teach.

My wife did 211 snatches in 10 minutes yesterday with a 16 kg bell. On the face value she lifted 7596 lbs in ten minutes, almost 800 lbs a minutes. Even if you only double the forces it gives you almost 1600 lbs lifted per minutes and almost 16,000 lbs in ten.
Triple the foces per rep and the number is crazy,22,788 lbs in ten minutes of work!
And the POWER produced is off the chart too.Can he reproduce that with a barbell?
Ah, no.
Do that with a 24 kg kb and do the math :))

At the RKC we have clearly shown, over and over, that our style of KB training makes you better,much better, at those basic movements he wants to improve ,like running and jumping , without even practicing the movements. Add in intelligent skill training to the mix and the "athlete" or regular person will soar.Let's not forget either, that the author owns a personal training studio with his own philosophy to sell. He's not just a 'scientist' with no subjective bias.

This is why the RKC method of KB training HAS to be more widely well known as way too many think of the junk training they see in magazines as proper KB training. This has to change and people need to know the truth about the power of proper kb training.It changes peoples lives everyday, both athlete and 'regular' person.
This guy needs to come to my studio and learn how to swing and snatch properly. Then he will 'get it'.
There ya go, caffieinated dissection over!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tracy kicks butt.

While I was extremely happy to be able to swing and snatch the 8 kg today without pain Tracy took and CRUSHED the USSST with the 16 kg bell, getting a 40 rep personal best in the process! This is what results from continous progressive training, serious pr's!Here's the video, almost the full ten minutes, we start a minute or so into the set.

I was very impressed. it's an amazing feat.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is a training practice?

I've literally spent most of my life in 'training'. First, training for competition gymnastics, then training for endurance sports that I didnt compete in near as much as I spent training for. Then bodybuilding which I did compete in quite a bit and the same with powerlifting. In my mind, I was always training for a competition, or a specific goal no matter how far off it was or long I thought it would take to achieve.

This was especially true during my "ultra" endurance years, as competitions were few and far between. But everyday I did my training I had very specific goals in mind. I didn't really care how long it took me to get there, I just knew if I didnt train as if I was going to compete I wouldn't go out the door.
Or, once out the door, when the going got tough, the weather got cold and wet or my will got weak I would cave and not push through.

This is what made my training more a practice than just sport training, or a workout.There was always something to get from my practice,some new piece of the puzzle, some new understanding of how my body or spirit worked, some new idea about the future goal or how to get there.
The competitions were as much about having legitimacy to all the hours I spent training as much as anything,lol.

I always told people I HAD to compete to justify the large amount of time I spent training and not making money.In truth I loved training( still do) way more than competition,which always seemed an artificial and inconvient disruption to my training practice.
More truth to be told , testing oneself( competition) reveals things that pure training alone can never reveal but that doesnt mean it's anywhere near as satisfying. But it's necessary. At least occasionally.

And I've always loved that space, that zone where you push yourself to new heights and instead of falling you fly. Sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively but you fly.
And almost nothing else feels like that. It keeps pulling me back again and again, for years now,just to experience the ecstasy of what feels like perfect and complete strength, or endurance or coordination or some combination of the above.
Where the internal editor, the critic, the judge, the censor is shut down and just the pure experience of pure movement is felt. It may take months of practice to get that moment just once but once had it is hard not to want again.And again. Simple, elegant beauty.Chasing God through physical effort.
But this too has it's price and the next step off a peak is always down.One just doesn't always know where the edge is until it's too late.

And then you are hurt and the new heights are replaced by new lows and the training that allowed you to push yourself further than you ever thought you could is replaced by REHAB and holding back, and resting and boring shit like that.
When you've flown enough anything else just won't do.
Til you can't walk and then you realize that walking can be flying too.It's just a different perspective.

So I've done my share of "rehab" training; stretching, foam rollering, thumping, chiropractic, stability ball training, etc.,etc,.etc.
And everytime after working my way from my current past high level of fitness or strength I have sworn I won't make THAT mistake again, that I will 'hold back' more.THis has been more apparent in the last couple years when I basically had one foot on the gas, and one on the brake in my training.Because if I didnt, if I pushed myself, if I let my body do what my mind said it KNEW it could do I would get hurt.And that's just no fun at all anymore.
After regaining so much of my lost function in the last year, especially, the desire to push myself
just a little bit more has gotten strong again. You forget the pain, the loss of basic functions, the fear.You want to soar again and as it seems so close, so doable you want to just take the foot off the brake and GO.

It always pisses me off when I see able bodied, uninjured people who don't want to use their bodies at all in any real way. It's like have a Ferrari in the garage and being too lazy to learn how to drive a stick shift.I would KILL to be able push myself as hard as I want to in the gym again, to scratch and dig and claw back to those heights again.But the price is too high and I know it now. It just is. But it still pisses me off to see people who have these wonderfully functional bodies that won't use them. Crazy.

So you enjoy the smaller workout and the ability to move without( much) pain and try to be greatful for what you have.
And then your back goes out for no descernible reason ,like it did right before the HKC and almost immediately after.
Ain't stress an amazing thing?

As I wrote in my snatch workout blot prior to the cert I had been very careful NOT to tweak myself, not to push the edge and I didnt think I had.But stress can catch up with you AND letting myself get dehydrated AND doing movements I know my spine doesnt like( two hand swings) ain't that smart.
It's just that I was feeling so good,lol.I thought I could do it all.
I could I just couldnt recover from it.

But there's nothing like having the feeling you have huge iron spike in your lower spine to let you know what's really important.
Yes I want to snatch heavy this week and damn, my Maxvo2 training was just starting to get where I wanted it to be I REALLY don't want to go back to 'light duty' rehab training. I really don't want to start over again.

What I really don't want, though, is for my back to keep me from doing what's really important in my life, doing my job as an instructor so I can take care of my family.
My real goal in my training, as it has been for a number of years is;
"to have a back of iron and legs that never quit",( my favorite kettlebell quote from Pavels first book, the book that started it all).

It's a stretch but as I wrote earlier the distance from where I am to my goal rarely deters me. I just see it as providing motivation for a longer period of time. Until I get it.
Since my back had been great for almost a year now I figured it was good, and that I could count on it, that I didnt' have to be so cautious. I was wrong.

And I also realized, as I was on the ground for the millionth time that day trying to ease the muscle spasms that coursed through my lower back, that I didn't have to stop training because I got hurt. I was training. Right now, on that floor, doing what I needed to do, not necessarily what I wanted to do. To achieve my goal, which was now not doing 200 snatches with the 24 kg or 60 sets of 8 in the max vo2, but standing and walking and working without this horrific pain. Of being able to move easily again, as I have been able to for so many months. TO do my yoga with my beautiful yogini wife and travel and teach all the new great things that are set to happen this coming year.

I will do 200 snatches in ten minutes with the 24 kg one day. I don't know when but I do know I can't push myself on too many levels similtaneously or things break. And that would be me.I don't like it but that's the truth and I have been too cavilier about my back and NOT doing enough of my prehab stretching and stabilization stuff. Just staying with the more fun, sexy stuff, the meat of the work. Oh well back to the floor.

And, as I said, it's all part of a training practice, just another section of it,as important as the heavy stuff, maybe more.The same principles and concepts apply, and as I release my back, as I regain stability, as I search for and find my 'new' center it's really the same as increasing any weight, or load or intensity.

And as I start over, again,I know it won't be long til I'm back to snatching and pressing again and pushing the edge a little and doing what I was doing a few weeks ago.But one can only handle so much stress and it all counts. It can come ALL from your training or ALL from your job or relationship or any combination of your life.Doesn't matter.When you fill your stress box completely up somethings going to give.So the practice is finding balance so you can continue to progress towards your goal.or goals.Sometimes it comes from a heavy kettlebell and sometimes it comes from bodyweight reverse hyper over a stability ball.

It's all training to me, which is my practice; searching for that zone, that place where I can soar, where what was impossible before is now effortless, where what was heavy is now light, what was pure pain is painfree.
I really cared about how much I could squat did I blew out my back and couldn't walk. Then I cared about walking. To be able to see the miraculous in the mundane is tough but take enough away and it all becomes very, very clear; what's really important. What's real.

So it's back to the gym tomorrow but not for max vo2. what I will be able to do I don't know but I will take it as seriously as I do my snatch training and make as much progress as I can that day.
That's all one can do.
The key is to keep doing it. No matter how many times you get knocked down.The only way not to get it is to quit.
I don't quit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

HKC Palo Alto February 6 2010

Between RKC's and HKC's, 2010 is already filling up fast and I am proud to announce that our second HKC will be held at Girya, Russian Kettlebells Palo Alto, Ca February 6, 2010. Jordan Vezina will be offering a workshop on February 7th ,details to follow. Jordan is one of the best talents I have seen in the kettlebell community so don't miss this opportunity to train with him.Start honing in on your quest for the RKC right after the HKC!

you can sign up here:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A video montage of the HKC Palo Alto

Thanks Jordan for the great camera work as well as all your hard work teaching yesterday.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

HKC Palo Alto Team Rif

It's in the books. The first California HKC at GiryaStrength. What a day.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Destination :HKC Palo Alto, Ca

Just in time to celebrate the inaugural HKC Palo Alto,Ca our new logo and store front sign. Notice the HKC logo to the right? Rockin'!
Plus, check out the start of our new website changes:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One man, one bell, one task.

I've always said that the true hallmark of a dedicated athlete is their ability to get their training done regardless of the circumstances.This is especially true when it comes to training alone. For so many years my litmus test for training partners was squat workouts. If you weren't prepared to be there on time, ready to go with a solid attitude and a plan for the day I wouldn't let you train with me. I would rather train alone. I would rather not count on anyone showing up and make those weight ,intensity and safety adjustments, than counting on you and being bailed on.
And that happened very frequently when it came to leg day,lol.SO many start well and fade fast as soon as it gets really tough.
So I learned how to train alone.
But I havent in a long time although I know in the back of my head , and in the depths of my heart that I can. I just don't want to anymore,lol. Unless I have to.
Like today.Tracy was up with our grandchild and I was on my own on heavy snatch day.
I did 140 reps in sets of 14 last week and knew I needed to step it up a notch. I also knew that I have been relying heavily on her energy and inspiration for awhile now and havent' done anything all that tough myself in many moons.
Plus, I have the HKC this weekend and DON'T want to tweak myself when I don't have the time to heal up and still be at top shape for this most important weekend. I've been on a roll though, of late and really NEED to keep that momentum going. Feeling strong feels so good. But I know I can get hurt sleeping so I don't take my current level of 'restoration' for granted,at all.
I just had to get and stay focused and get and keep on task.Just like the old days.
One rep at a time. One set at a time. Stay in my body and stay in sequence. Don't do anything stupid; let it swing.
So I did.

20 kgx4/4

24 kgx7/7x 12 sets
168 reps
8904 lbs

This went great. I had some serious music turned on at first,like the old days, to spur me on and get things rolling but then decided to turn it off and just focus focus focus. I just didnt want anything to tweak at all as I pushed into my total reps with the 24kg than I've done in one sets in eons.My groove felt fine I just had to stay present and balanced. Went great. I can see 20 rep sets in my future soon as well as starting to build up my one arm max reps.Not today though.
Still have to get and stay at a 200 rep per workout minimum average first.
first things first.
But it's way more fun training with my wife. There, I said it, the "F" word.
Hey, I'm old now, I need all the help I can get.
But I found out, for real, that I can indeed still train alone. train hard alone. set new pr's( recent at least) alone, when I don't want to for real and certainly don't have to.
Although I do.
Some people will get that and some won't.
One who does is my wife Tracy who was out there in our cold garage, at the crack of dawn,alone getting it done with 20 minute swing work sets because there was no other time to do it today and it has to be done.

Clubbell arm cast /shield cast
10 lbx7/7/7/7
15 lb x7/7/7/7
20 lbx5/5/5/5

These went great! didnt want to risk swipes today as the back has been a bit tight of late and I think it's do to the bilateral swipes. Back to single arm swipes and mills for awhile as well as these arm casts. I just want them to build the arms up anyway :))
ran out of time
HKC weekend here we come!