Thursday, July 29, 2010

stacked presses and kb deadlift/squats

So, another double cancellation this am so I have plenty of time to stretch and do a relaxed workout. I wanted to do something that would be medium heavy; stimulating to the muscle but not tweak anything as I am going to 2nd Annual National HKC in MSP and then off with Tracy ( who is assisting!) to the Hungarian RKC ( which I hear has 90 candidates! The largest international RKC to date) on Wednesday and want to be relatively fresh.

8 am stretching

hamstring strap stretching
straddle stretch
down dog
up dog
kneeling shoulder stretch
rack stick slides( these really fixed my shoulder)
overhead stick stretch
behind back stick stretch
low bar squat rack stretch
foam roller
TKE's for sets of 20 black and red mini bands

Silver back deadlift
20 kg x10
24 kg x10
28 kgx10
32 kg x10
36 kg x10

I know I did these tuesday but my legs said again> So I listened. I can really get a good leg postion here and get the quads nicely but not the knee. most excellent

Stacked Press
2 1o kg x5/5 x 2 sets
1 10kg+1 12 Kg x 4/4 x2 sets
1 10 kg +1 14 kg x3/3 x1 set
1 12kg + 14 kg x2/2 x1 set

these went great. I would have and easily could have gone much heavier even for these reps but I felt a little forearms strain from the wide hand grip required to hold both bells. no worries it was a solid upper body workout, just what I wanted.

Just like the bottoms up press, a great " same but different" approach to the standard press. different groove which is great for all the right reasons.

6 sets of 8-10 seconds.

kickup to the wall then tap off and hold. these are getting more solid and strong every week. even did a few quarter hs pushups in the middle sets. I can't wait til I can train hs pushups full range again.

DB laterals

10 lb s 15/15
12 lb as 12/12
15 lbs x10/10
12 lb x 12/12
10 lbs x 12/12

damn, these felt good. been along time.

2 kb suitcase deadlifts

2 12 kg x 10 rep sets SLOWLY, lots of tension. about 5 sets. not sure if this is going to work.

datsit. off to MSP!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

AM swings, snatches ,leg work.

Yes, that's right, I wrote leg work. It dawned on me yesterday that it's time to go back and find a way to train my legs again.My left quad is way weak because of the knee and the right quad is weak because I don't train it. I stopped training squats and deads or lunges because I thought the direct work created too much tension in my left hamstring and I already had way more than I needed from just walking around.

But I think it's time to work the quads and use that tension to release the hamstrings. At least make my legs stronger and bigger in the process. It seems that I am always trying to listen to what messages the universe is sending me about what training I am doing and go in the right direction.

The messages, coming in the form of pain or enhanced physical ability are pretty clear, at least in retrospect and sometimes I can get a positive or negative response just from thinking about the changes in the training I am about to implement!

As when I decided this morning to change my training plans to swing and snatch primarily and find some leg work that may be tolerable and my knee started feeling better almost instantly. Crazy but that's where this old body is these days and man, I listen.

Biofeedback indeed.Or as Louie loves to say,'everything works, and nothing works forever.'

I've been thinking I am ready to go back to more bilateral training and this is further sign. I started out today with jointmobility for Tracy's class followed by some remedial kb clean training and that left little time for the real workout as I had a client coming in 45 minutes later and I sweat a lot.

SO I started with one arm swings:

1 arm swings
16 kg x5/5x2
20 kg x5/5


not a bad little workout but I was feeling rushed and crowded so decided to snatch a bit instead of going up to the 32 kg as I thought I would.

16 kgx5/5
20 kg x5/5
25 kgx5/5
20 kg x5/5 x 3 sets

the 24 felt heavy this morning! I don't think training heavy and 6 am are synonymous for me. yikes. trained barefoot for the first time in forevere and didn't use my homemade orthotic .felt good but different. I think I am going to use this hour for stretching and rack walks and do my heavy work at 12 noon, as I do on Thursdays. I need food now to train and way more time to warm up. So it goes. At least I didn't tweak my tricep, got that rotator issue in check fast this time.

I think I need to revisit this form.

I went on to do 80 sets of 8 with this form and haven't been close to that in long time. Good reminder of how to go fast.

This is when I realized I had to do more 'leg' work and started playing with different moves to find out what hit my legs and my knee and back would allow.

two kb sumo deadlifts: felt solid my more hips than quads. played with double 16 kgs for sets.

two kb suitcase deadlifts: we have a winner. pure quads with the close stance and knee translation but very controllable and oh, so weak. I will make good progress with this.used double 20 kgs for sets done very slowly and controlled.

Wall sits: another winner. I remember doing this holding a 100 lb db in each hand for 60 second sets back in my powerlifting life. all quads and no knee issues. also ,weak as shit. plenty of room for progress. Just bodyweight is hard.

Box squats: well, bench squats. this will work well as well
two hand one KB deadlift: another winner.way different on the legs then two kb sumo deads. 20,24, 28 and 32 kg deads for 5's. nice

TKE( terminal knee extension) with black mini band, great vmo activation, which I sorely need.

So, I am thinking this:

joint mobility, stretching , rack walks

one kb deadlift
two kb suitcase deadlift
one kb two hand swing

heavy kb press
24 kg snatches

Snatch Vo2
2 kb wall sits

Wow. deadlifts, heavy presses and squats. Kinda, sorta looks like powerlifting. Kewl.Kettlebell muscle indeed.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pain is guaranteed; suffering is optional.

Frank Frazetta understood.
I think the Buddha said this, or Hunter S. Thompson, not quite sure which,but whoever it was must have had a premonition of snatch vo2 training. God, I hate training on the clock and the incessant "BEEP" of the gymboss, no matter what the interval is set to chaps my ass.

But, if I don't force myself to do what is weak it will never get stronger. So each Saturday I go in for my dose of interval pain, trying not to suffer, to be detached from the physical, and somehow emotional, pain of having to go as hard and fast as possible with very little oxygen. Then do it again.And again. and again.
In the same place. For 33 minutes today. A true confrontation with oneself. No need for 90 minutes staring in the mirror, this does just fine.

And I try to be detached as well from the results that I am capable that day, because with this old frame of mine, I just never know what it can do. Or how hard it is safe to push, or what is making me stronger for the future and what is just pure masochism, breaking me down even more.

I think many misunderstand the vo2 protocol and focus a lot on speed and number of reps per set and total number of sets.
But breathing hard, REAL hard, is the key to max vo2 and many forget that. The protocol is based on training at supramax heartrate levels which guarantees pain. That whole 'supramax" heartrate. Not a lot if air up there. but that what makes the heart that much more capable.
Sometimes I wonder if I need to be that strong, lol. but then I come to my senses. Or lack thereof.
My HR today at the end of the 30 sets of 36:36 was 190 plus. Hadn't seen that in awhile. Using both arms instead of alternating each arm is difficult in it's own way; testing my cardio more that my grip. Which is just what I need.

It didn't make it any easier that Tracy and Meg were doing twice what I was doing with HALF as much rest and not looking like they were going to die, as I was. But I used their energy and strength as a catalyst for my work; and it helped a lot. Training partners can make ALL the difference.

I train Max vo2 BASED now so this is fine. Until the actual time that I have to do it,lol. I guess I just thought was just at the top of my cycle thursday with my presses as this was a recent pr as well.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
30 sets of 7/7
420 reps
15,120 lbs

wow,no wonder that hurt. that's a lot of snatches and tons of weight. cool.
I had delusions that I was going to do 10 sets of 7/7 and then switch to alternating sets of 7/8 but I wanted 30 sets more than I wanted 8's so I focused on that. Good thing.

I had to go slowly on my left side as all this pressing I have been doing has activated some rotator cuff issues which manifests as a triceps cramp on my left arm doing, of all things, cleans and swings! And it's not going heavy as most of the time I tweak it it's doing light sets!

I let the anterior/posterior strength balance get out of balance with all the pec, anterior delt and lat tension in the press as well as all my hypermobility in the shoulder capsule. The shoulder subluxes forward a bit and the tricep gets stretched more than it likes and cramps. More snatches, and specifically more static snatches are the order of the day and I held the top position of the left arm on each rep and til the full end of the 36 seconds at the end of each set.

I don't need to press less, I just need to snatch more.

Clubbell arm casts
10 lbs x 10/10x2
15 lbs x 8/8 x 4 sets

these felt great and I really focused on scapula movement and activation during the sets. By the end of the workout the tricep felt normal and shoulder position is back to neutral.


addendum: just realized I am now in second place on the snatch challenge board. Number one will be first and I predict I will be the first to 100,000 counted snatches. People just can't go the distance. good for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top of the cycle.

It's really been a great run up in my pressing workouts. What used to feel heavy for doubles and singles(28 and and 32 kg) Just as it should be. Be we are on the road again next weekend for the National HLK in Minnesota and then the Hungary RKC the weekend after that!

Time to go back to road warrior status and let the heavy stuff rest for awhile. Surviving the travel is key now.
But today was the last heavy workout and I wanted to do multiple sets of doubles with the 32 kg.I had planned on training with Tracy at noon after my last client but the morning fell apart when two clients called in sick and one was already on vacation. A three hour gap meant I had to train early by myself. Not the plan but one has to adapt and overcome.
My car was in the shop so there was no place to run, no place to hide.

KB clean and press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x 3/3
24 kg x2/2
28 kg x 1/1

32 kg x2/2 x 4 sets

these were all strong but it was too early for me to go this heavy and I felt it. They moved fast, which in my world means easy, but they didn't feel that good. Had a hard time really focusing but I got it done and now I can back off a bit.

5 sets of 10 seconds

these are feeling so strong since my pressing strength has come back. Start against the wall then clean my feet and hold. very solid.

Double snatches
I had to try these after Tracy told me about her double snatch workout max vo2 based, the other day. Man, set after set of 20 reps in the double snatch in 36 seconds. crazy. I haven't even tried a double snatch years so today seemed like a good time to play with it.

2/10 kg x5
2/12 kg x5
2/14 kg x 5

great fun! it's light but I'm just happy to be able to do the damn movement!

Lots of stretching.the usual for 30 minutes.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Double presses

I have been wanting to be able to tolerate either two handed swings and or two kb swings and presses for years. My back has not liked bilateral work after so many years squatting and pulling barbells with my serious asymmetries but I have missed the feeling of that "squared off" work that only bilateral training can give you.

Didn't like the back pain afterwards, however so I stayed alway, always taking a foray or two into that land to see if my reality had changed at any time and always having to pull my hand back quickly before it was bit off.

Today was one of those forays and we'll see how I am tomorrow but so far so good. I had planned to make today either my swing day or my light snatch day but given that I have a press dvd planned for later this year I figured another day of press training as the main event was prudent. Especially since I had snatched plenty on Saturday.

I did start slowly given I usually don't know something isn't going to work til the next day.I know that my double overhead position isn't "behind my head" enough given the flexibility restrictions of my right shoulder but I do have a position that is very strong and I went for that. Almost like a military press with a bar. Any port in a storm, as long as it doesn't hurt I'll take it.

Two kb clean and press( long cycle)
2/10 kg(!) x 5/5
2/12 kg x5/5
2/14 kg x5/5
2/16 kg x5/5
2/20 kgx5/5
2/20 kg press only 5 reps(one clean)

these felt great albeit weird after not doing this movement like, well, forever! I hesitated to start so light but it was early, I was tight and I had no idea if I could even do these or not. It was very different standing so wide to clean the weight as well.

The weight felt like but a bit restricted overhead as the video shows. still it was nice to easily put up over head the weight( combined) that is my goal for the dvd.I think I am going to do two press workouts a week one heavy for the single bell and one light to medium with double bells( if my body tolerates them) and or bottoms up, palm press or other variations as assistance and muscle building work.

16 kg x15/15
x12/12 x2
20 kg x 5/5

I know now for sure that it is vital for me to balance out my pressing with snatching(especially the holds) as my key rotator cuff exercise.Nothing seems to stabilize my shoulder better than snatch holds and I will try not to forget that again.

One kb press
20 kg x3/3
24 kgx3/
3 x3

Just these in to make sure the doubles hadn't thrown off my one arm groove, no worries. everything felt light always a good sign

rack walks

16 kg x 1200 feet switching hands every 200 ft.

these were harder after pressing and snatches than just swings,lol.

30 minutes stretching

strap hamstrings
down and up dog
overhead and behind back stick stretch
hip opening squat stretch
foam roller

datsit. a good light day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Max Vo2 based snatch training

One of my strengths is being able to take a training program and follow it. For weeks, months, even years. Understanding the concepts and principles and then applying them as I work diligently and patiently towards the competition or test at the end of the rainbow.
Goals and Deadlines.
One of my favorite sayings and in my opinion, two of the key components one obtains the things they say they want.Without a goal it's not really training, just exercising. Or, even worse, playing around. Shiny new things and all that.

Without a deadline of some sort the hard part, the peaking, the testings, the judging of the success or failure of your program design, and even worse, your willpower and dedication somehow never comes about. Getting on the platform and doing it in front of your peers, colleagues and family really separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.
Testing and competition will either make you or break you.

It's been said the challenges don't build character, they reveal it. And I believe this, and lived it for now almost 40 years, always have a goal and a deadline in mind to guide and shape my training. And taking a method and following it, testing it, really seeing if it worked for real was a huge part of that process.

But, it also turned into a weakness; creating guilt and anxiety if what my gut and instincts told me where out of phase with the "program". And, if the program was designed by brilliant coaches and instructors it make it even harder to " go my own way" and or tweak the program.

This became very apparent to me after I finished competing in powerlifting and recognized that the super wide stance squat, with a flat shoe was NOT my strongest position or technique. And I know now that my reluctance to go with my gut and use the positions where I felt strong, even though they didn't make "sense" according to the standard "theory" cost me my 600 lb squat. No doubt in my mind.

My bad.
I argued with Louie but deferred to the coach and his ideas. They made sense to me intellectually. Just not in my body.

Louie and WSB are ALL about identifying and training your weaknesses and turning them into your strengths. Which is cool. But the system had me competing my weaknesses( wide stance).

Train your weaknesses, COMPETE your STRENGTHS.

Now I know.

Postitions of leverage are SO individual its very hard for people to say where they will be the strongest except for performance.
It's all easy til its heavy. Then you find out where your groove really is.

I just kept wanting to do it "right". Not just my way. My bad again.

Master Instructor Kenneth Jay wrote in an email that " beginners need to learn the rules, intermediates obey the rules, and advanced athletes has to learn how to break them."

I get this.

So I get a bit nuts when I even think about modifying KJ's Max vo2 protocols. I can wave the loads and cycle the intensities and even cut back the recommended number of workouts without problem but doing 36:36 and switching arms instead of staying on just the prescribed one arm at a time?! Could make me crazy, but I know also the grip fatigue and shoulder misalignment go hand in glove with me so I wasn't going to choose that.

But I wanted more that 15:15 right now and decided to go with my gut and Tracy's excellent advice to do Max vo2 BASED training. Freestyle if you will and my gut liked this. I wanted the longer sets of work but not the grip fatigue. 8/8 and then rest 36 second, there ya go. I just don't like to feel liked I am avoiding something because it's too hard.

The hard way is the right way, eh Bikram? Usually I agree.

It's just interval training, after all.

And my gut also told me to play around with the GS snatch. I have always had the greatest respect for GS athletes. It's my kind of repetitive masochistic individual sport. Absolutely should be in the olympics imo. It's the perfect no reward except personal honor and glory that Olympic sports should be about. Think wrestling .

I would have competed in GS when I was still competing in things, if my body allowed it, but every attempt to even play with the snatch in the past has caused shoulder and back problems. All that spiraling wasn't making the back happy at all.
And forget about the jerks. My knee, back and shoulders won't even consider them.

But with the brettzell and my thoracic spine mobility much improved, and my overhead work now allowing presses regularly, and my back behaving as well due to the right combination of stretching and mobility work I thought I might look at the snatch again.

I've been watching lots of videos of the Russians of the IKSFA and these guys are so impressive. SO much like gymnastics and powerlifting combined. Plus, like I said, the masochistic obsessiveness these athletes must have resonates with me. And I've been watching this video of Denis Vasiliev alot,especially the thoracic spine rotation that initiates the snatch drop.

I wouldn't use his leg techniques as my knees don't work like that but the layback at the start and the torso rotation do. Doing the brettzell regularly has really increased my T spine rotation which takes so much pressure off the lumbar spine.

So I wanted to play around with it today but still wanted to do some fast stuff as well.This is what I came up with.

Snatch Vo2
alternate sets of 7/7 done GS style with
sets of 8/8 done Hardstyle

26 sets total
13 sets gs=182 snatches
13 sets hs= 208 snatches

390 snatches total

This went very well and what was quite apparent from the get was that the gs stroke was slower for me. At least now. It involves more movement than the hs technique.More moving parts, if you will. and you don't throw the bell down as you do in HS.
Both techniques felt good although I have miles to go with the gs one. but having that visual of initiating the rotation from the opposite shoulder thoracic spine helped immediately.

For me to do 80 sets of 8 in 15:15 it will have to be over the top technique but there's room for some play here too. It would be nice to train for high reps on one arm as well if the body says ok.

Two hand shield cast
20 lbs x8/8 x 2
25 lb x8/8 x 3

these were good but I should have done the two hand swings I had planned. Logistically it didn't work but now I know.

Listen to my gut.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quick and dirty pr

A Rob Zombie inspired workout today.

We had a delivery of new flooring coming to Girya today right at Tracy and my workout time so I figured I had to get in my presses at 9 am when I had a cancellation. My 8 am client ran late and I was just not feeling it; I hate rushing my training,especially when it's not my normal training time.

But Tracy came in from one of her three or four scheduled workouts today ( on her way to Bikrams) and I knew I had to get something on the books. I had done some pre emptive presses tuesday in case this didnt work out but I had the time so I got something done.

Didn't expect to feel so strong , much less get a pr. but there it was. As my tag line pn my blog says, you have to lay in wait for it, patiently, and be ready to grab when Grace lays in down in front of you.

There it was in front of me so I picked it up.
Strong feels so good.

Clean and press

16 lkg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x3/3

28 kg x1/1
x5/5 PR

I had no idea where my strength would be with the 28 today when I started, that's why I choose singles to begin with. Really I would have been ok with doing 8-10 sets of 1/1 today. no lie. But after each set I said to myself,'self, that was easy. lets do another rep on the next set'.

I had no expectations of doing fives, as the most I have ever done with this weight was triples and that was just a few weeks ago. So when the triple went up so fast I tried fours and they went the same way,fast strong and easy. I thought abut stopping there but I was feeling solid so I went for the fives and they rocked. Nice, a real PR. Gotta love those.

5 sets of 15 seconds

Started against the wall and tapped off to a free handstand. with my pressing strength up these are feeling very solid.

Datsit. 30 minutes, quick and dirty.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Level 2 on vacation, back to training.

Tracy, killing her pistol

What an insanely great weekend I( we) had. I got to go to my first cert ever with no real responsibilities other than being there for Tracy as she went through her KB strength quest.
Normally I am either teaching or taking but this weekend I was free to roam around, take videos or pics, offer her some salient tidbit to make her training better, talk to friends and colleagues and train.

How cool.Plus my body cooperated and I walk, stood and moved all weekend with no knee lockup. Very cool.

First off, Tracy did great and rose to the occasion, as I knew she would. She missed her pullup but went higher towards the bar than ever before, leaving no doubt in my mind that she will get it very soon And that my training methods for going from no movement to full pullup are solid and productive.

She killed her pistol, twice, which was a major accomplishment considering where that movement started a few months ago, as well.

The fact that the Chief Instructor decided to take us back to our HardCore RKC roots and make the candidates use REALLY challenging bells all weekend( how's double 16 kgs for the ladies?) made things that much tougher. Especially when no one saw it coming. It was not a requirement at the Level 2 in February. People, you have been warned: The RKC is School of STRENGTH.

Tracy could have opted, as many did, for lighter weights but she didn't. Even in the 85+ degrees and the same number humidity. It did shake her a bit though, no doubt. I certainly would not want to spend the weekend with double 24's. That shit's no joke.

I got to play around in my training, greasing the groove with my snatches and getting about 50 reps in with the 24 kg on Friday as well as a bunch of handstands and pushups and bottoms up cleans with moderate weights for practice( 20 kg)

Just keeping active. Lots of stretching as well.

Made a serious point of staying hydrated and it worked very well.There is a definite connection for me between hydration and body and knee/back pain. No doubt and I won't forget or neglect this any time soon. It's just too serious anymore.

Recovered well on Monday and it was 6 am training again already today. I needed it but decided to snatch instead of swing and do some presses as well as Girya has new mats coming Thursday and who knows what will happen to my training.


16 kg x 8/8 x3
20 kg x5/5
x 8/8

These went very well. I need to do some slower paced snatch work focusing on the lockout hold to really stabilize the shoulders via the rotator cuff. Nothing better than static snatches holds for that.
I am also revisiting training for my snatch test and Rite of Passage again, although with the 20 kg Masters( as in Old Guys) bell. I didn't want to go there but I guess have to do it with the 20 first before I do it with the mens weight( 24 kg).

I did a hard 80 reps on 5 minutes a few years ago when we changed the style of snatch testing and haven't gone back to try 100 in five since. I just freakin HATE long ass sets. Hate em.

Got the rough cut for my DVD yesterday and am SUPER excited that it looks GREAT. Tracy's too. Can't wait to get these out on the market and start on my press DVD with Jordan next. I want to press the 40 kg in that DVD and that is #1` training priority right after I get back from Hungary.

Bottoms up clean and press( long cycle)
16 kg x3/3 x 3
20 kg x1/1
x 1/1/1/1/1/1

these went great and were surprisingly tough for this light of weight. good assistance exercise for my classic press though. Same but different; specialized variety. Where have I heard that before?

Rack Walks
16 kg for 5 minutes continuous switching hands every 100 feet. This was much harder after snatches and b/u presses than swings.Always amazed at how much this makes my heartrate go up.

I am thinking of this:

tuesday am
20 kg snatch for volume
press assistance exercise
rack walk

heavy presses/cycled
24 kg snatch, low reps medium volume
Text Color
Max Vo2
Two handed or two kb swings

I am hoping to be able in incorporate this most basic of kb movements into my training. We'll see but none of this really starts until after the Hungary RKC. I have to go to that adventure healthy and fit. Undertrained,if anything.

Datsit. New mats on Thursday, now that's exciting.
Text Color

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Swing Press Swipe

Ah, the 6 am workout. Still a bit slow to get going heavy but I took the scenic route today as Thursday we leave for Minneapolis as Tracy takes her Level 2 Certification. So just in case I don't get my presses in on Friday I decided to combine both my swing workout with some base volume presses.

One arm Swings

16 kg x 5/5 + 5 transfers x 2
20 kg x5/5 + 5 transfers x 2

24 kg x5/5

these felt great but my left tricep cramped again on the last set. Had plans of moving up to the 32 after this set and doing some sets of 5 but I didn't want to push it. The tricep cramp, I believe now, is from too much forearm flexor, corocobrachialis , pec and bicep tension from all the presses of late, pulling my shoulder too far forward.

With all my joint capsule laxity, things move around very easily and changes in muscle tension create serious changes in resting joint position way too fast.
The solution: more snatches and snatch holds to restabilize the posterior part of the rotator cuff. Max Vo2 is one thing. Slower, heavier snatch holds is another. so I went back to presses, of course, to finish the workout,lol.

At least they have been feeling great.

KB Press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x3/3
28 kg x2/2
24 kg x3/3
20 kg x8/8
16 kg x10/10

man those were solid. Still, need to do more heavier snatches with pauses as well as some 1-2 minute snatch holds.

Rack walks
16 kg x 8 minutes walking switching hands every 200 feet. Bell never touched the ground.

Two Hand Clubbell Swipes

10 lbs x10/10
15 lb s8/8
20 lbs x 8/8 x 3 sets

datsit. Hope to get a serious snatch vo2 AND a serious press workout in this weekend as I watch my awesome wife tackle the strength challenge that she has worked so hard for these last months!

as I don't have to teach or go through the cert I am hoping to have plenty of time to blog, take photos and videos and relax as much as possible! lol. I am on Kettlebell vacation!

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Two of the best forearms of all time: Casey Viator( top) and Gunnar Rosbo. These guys could get a pump eh?

Ouch. Can you say ouch?

I decided to give 15:15 max vo2 protocol a break this week as last weeks 50 set "down day" was not as easy it a down week should be so I thought I might have been hammering that nail too long.
Now I HATE 36:36 as it pumps up my forearms so much that my grip becomes the only thing that is really being tested and or trained and that's not my priority at all.

And, I know that when my forearm flexors get too short, and or harbor trigger points that my shoulder is next in line for trouble. Check out the great book Anatomy Trains for why this happens, but it does. That's why I liked the short intense work of 15:15, it taxes my cardio more than my grip endurance. But it was time. And the faster I snatch the more pumped I get, so even though I have the cardio and the time left in the set to do 16 or even 17 reps, I can't deal with the grip.
Plus, I have little incentive to train it, given the connection to my delicate shoulders.

I have worked up to 35 sets of 15 in this protocol but that was eons ago. AND, I haven't done more than 7 reps on one arm in almost as long. I knew this was going to be a tough one today. I just didn't know how tough it was going to be,lol.

Snatch vo2
16 kg

sets one- eight : 15 left 15 right ( 120 reps)
set 9, 10,11 : 15 right 14 left ( 44 )
12-20 : 8 reps left followed immediately by 7 reps right( switch 8 rep starting weight with each hand switch) (135 reps)
21 and 22: 15 left 15 right ( 30 )
total reps 329. wow, thats better than expected.

What a disaster! No injuries but man it was way tougher than expected and I knew by set 6 or 7 20 sets was probably going to not be possible as my forearms AND my shoulders were pumping up too fast. Even at a paltry 15 reps per 36 seconds- Tracy was doing up hill ladders from 16-18 I think,lol and looking bored at it's ease.

In fact I was starting to lose form and said I was going to bail. I can't get hurt now and didnt want to mess with my shoulder and my left tricep is just starting to feel normal.And my tricep issue stems from my shoulder which stems from my forearms.
Again, read Anatomy Trains.

I also did the first 6 sets with a GS competition bell as I thought the skinnier handle might make it easier and I wanted to play with it as well .But it didn't and I went back to the DD bell for the rest of the workout.

Tracy suggested( she's so smart:)) that instead of bailing I just switch hands halfway through and do the same total reps for the 36 sec set. Perfect. Why I didn't just d0 8 and 8 this way I don't know- oh yeah I do, all my blood was in my forearms,lol. But it was no problem. I lost count and ended up doing 2 extra sets which I went back to all the reps on one arm again. Wanted to finish in the right way if I could.
This video is from 2007 and one of the first attempts at it for me. I was wearing those same shorts today too,lol. I just did 8 sets of 15 and then 8 sets of 14 so I guess today wasn't that bad after all.
Here's that blog post with some videos. Tracy is doing TWENTY REPS per 36 sec in the video. That is just insane! Serious speed and conditioning.

I can see where building this up, slowly will also help put on some more muscle. LOTS of tension with that kind of speed work.
My best in this is 36 sets of 16 reps back in Oct 2008. I did it right after peaking my 15:15 for 80 sets of 8 a few weeks before! No wonder I did 36 sets of 16, I was IN SHAPE- Hell I can't wait to be fit enough for 80 sets of 8 again. I will be though.

Finished up with Clubbell Barbarian Press( kind of a standing, horizonal bench press)

20 lbs x 8/8 x 2 sets
25 lbs x 5/5
8/8x 2 sets


PS I just learned that Tracy and Meg, after I finished my paltry 22 sets, took an ENTIRE minute rest then did 30 MORE sets of 36:36 DOUBLING UP THE WORK TO REST and ended up doing 994 snatches in the workout!!!

They repeated their previous workout doing back to back sets of 18 reps per arm( yeah 18) and taking only 36 sec rest. Now that's a serious work capacity. Then she taught another hour of kb class then went to Bikrams.What a slacker.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

There's gymnastics, then, there's horse.

Back off Volume pressing and some handstands.

can't wait to teach handstands again at the HardStyle Ventura workshop this November.Last time Pavel asked me to teach it on the spot. This time I will be fully prepared.Some Handstands in 2008

Wasn't quite sure what I was going to do this workout for my back off week training. I thought about stacked presses or doing the 40 kg for a couple max rep sets per arm but I decided on the tried and true 5 sets of 5 reps per arm with the 24 kg bell.

Not too heavy, not too light and a weight that will allow some decent volume although I distinctly remember the last time I decided to do 5x5/5 I bailed because it seemed like there were just too many presses to do!

Today it was easy and I was taking almost no rest between sets( less than a minute). My upper body can work harder and recover much faster than my legs and hips; I just have SO MUCH training time on them over the years.
And now, with the last 5-6 weeks of consistent press training, and three days a week as well in the tank, I feel like I did before my rotator problems started in '04 and I could floor press 315 close grip every workout and could work up to 359 for a tough single no problem.

But still cautious :))

Warmup Swings
16 kg x 5/5/5/5 x2
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x5/5x4 sets

wanted to make sure my left tricep was happy before I started cleans. All good.

Clean and Press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x5/5 x 5

As noted above, very strong and confident. Really focused in on making every part of the press perfect. Upper and lower together. The arc was solid.So nice to have a groove I can count on again. This workload really puts some mass on the delts pecs and triceps as well as the upper back. Love it.

20 kg x5/5 x 5

wanted to go easy here too, again to make sure the tricep was happy with the groove and it was.


5 sets of 10 secs/ against wall at start , then free.

Did some of these the other day with some clients who I am training JUST to do handstands. Always great fun with these guys and they are progressing very well. They will be the students in my "How to train for and do Handstands" DVD that I want to shoot after the "Training the KB Press" DVD, lol.

Really, my Lats DVD isn't even out and I outlined the Press idea video yesterday. Jordan and I are going to work on it together and I am getting pumped up about the idea. Just need to stay healthy!