Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heavy day

Just like when I powerlifted I like Saturday's to be the heaviest and hardest workout of the week. That I get the rest of the weekend to recuperate is part of it but it's just been a tradition and habit since I started powerlifting back in 1990 and it's the way I like it.

It's so nice to get up and have nothing else to focus on except the workout that's imminent. For many years now though it's been pretty tough going because my "heavy" day meant more about more rehab than hard, heavy or intense training. A half a foot on the gas and both feet slammed on the breaks is not exactly motivating stuff.

But I persevered, as I do, and now I get to play, I mean work, hard again. Nothing I like to do more, actually(well almost ;)

I wasn't sure I was going to snatch today as even though I put the bell overhead on Tuesday with presses I didn't know if the increased speed of snatches might pull a bit on the stitches but it worked out well.
As did the rest of the workout too. Almost like a regular day, not a recovery workout.

6-7 am stretchout

One arm swings
16 kg x5/5/5 x 2
20 kg x5/5/5
24 kg x5/5/5
28 kg x5/5

32kg x5/5

that's it. bell speed was good, as was height of the swing( chin level for most). Nice too that it did not feel heavy in the hands or on the back and my forearms were fine, despite all those 15 lb clubbell swipes two days ago.

Power snatch
16 kgx5/5
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x5/5

easy money. stitches were fine.

Power swing two hands
24 kg x8
28 kg x7
32 kg x6
40 kg x 5

ok the 40 caught me off balance a bit on the first rep but it was also the first time I've ever done this drill with that weight. felt great after I adjusted my balance.

Two hand Clubbell Shield Casts
15 x8/8
20 x8/8
25 x 8/8
35 x 8/8

these were the real test of the stitches as the shield casts involve more of the pecs, through the biggest ROM as well as the shoulder/arm of anything I've done since they cut. No problem. Stitches come out on Wednesday, can't wait.


Friday, April 29, 2011

I so needed to see this today.

My calf and left ankle have been talking to me. this is just what I needed to see

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Five min swipe test pr and swing Vo2

2 clubbell Swipes
5 minutes
96 reps

I haven't done any swipes since the Doc's visit last week but I wanted to give it a go today and see if it tugged on the stitches at all. I knew I wouldn't be doing kb snatches yet, just because that would be too silly even for me, but I didn't think the bent elbow, pullover position the swipes put me in would be a problem.

It seemed to be ok but as I finished a long day my energy was flagging so I decided again just to do a five minute test at Girya before heading home to do some swing Vo2 work in the garage. I don't know why I can do this so easily with clubbells and not kbs but I can.

I just did a few reps with the tens and a few with the fifteens to make sure nothing was tugging or pulling wrong and then I just went for it with the fifteens.

Last time I did 200 with the 10's in 10 minutes I knew my next outing would be with the 15's and I would go for 100 reps. I have done 150 continuous back in 2007 but I don't know how long that took and it was in another life anyway

I should always have someone count for me as I got mixed up here many times and thought I got 100 at first but on video recount, it's only 96.I need to have someone count from now on.

I was just really surprised at just how much this taxed my grip. and so early . My grip was talking to me at 30 reps and I really had to concentrate a lot not to let it get the best of me. I also needed more chalk right away and because I was being tentative in the movement itself( I wanted 100 reps but I wanted not to tear anything open even more) it made the grip even harder.

Looking at the video I can tell just how sloppy the form was in many respects but it is a recent pr and I'll take it. Especially after this last 10 days :))

Most reps I've done with the 15's in recent days was 25 so this is pretty good effort.

Swing Vo2
16 kg
40 sets of 9
360 reps
12,950 lbs

not a bad workload, lol. I am always surprised to see how much work can get done with these light weights. I could have done tens but didn't want to push here too.Snatches are almost easier to do than one hand swings and I was tempted to see but knew better.

Will be back to snatching next week.

not a bad week for an "off" week,lol.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

20 kg Long cycle presses.10's

Didn't miss a beat, knife wound or not :)) Got a good stretchout this AM at 6 and figured the stitches could handle some low intensity presses with the 20 kg. No problem. Healing is going well with no inflammation, swelling or redness. All good signs.

6-7 am Stretchout

lots of focus on thai squat and ankle mobility drills as well as the usual hamstring,ab and shoulder static stretches. Spent some serious time in downward dog, perhaps the most important stretch I do for opening up my knee, ankle and hamstring.This new foot position and technique is working so well. I finally grok how my knee is supposed to bend. Crazy it's taken this long but better late than never.

Went into overhead hangs and overhead stick stretches gingerly but everything held up well and it felt so good to get my arms over my head again. It's amazing how even just a few short days with my arms by my sides tightened up my lats and therefore my lower back. Crazy. I've got to be able to move as much as possible to keep myself out of pain. Any restrictions immediately lock up the whole kit and kaboodle.

No wonder I was in so much pain before. All that seriously crazy heavy lifting and hardly any mobility/flexibility work really locked me into place. A bad place. I was crazy strong but crazy immobile as well. Not good and not my future either.

8:30 am
Long Cycle clean and press

one arm swings
16 kg x 5/5 3

16 kg x5/5 x2
Clean and press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5

Since I dare not go heavy I thought some reps might be in order; but after 8 and 8 I realized the intensity was creeping up so I though I better just go for the goal set of 10/10 as I didn't know if I had the 9/9 and 10/10 set in me. I probably did, but just pressing overhead at all was risky enough.

Don't be (t00) greedy :))

CB two arm cast
15 lbs x 10/10
20 lbs x 10/10 x 3

This felt good but also a but stretchy on the chest so I cut it short

Bodyblade laterals
3 x10/10

only to 90 deg. enough

stretchout/ roller 10 min

Training is my source and my privilege. I love to move better and be stronger.People are always looking for a reason to get out of training. I always look for a way to be ABLE to train, no matter what.

datsit :))

Saturday, April 23, 2011

" Two weeks- no training"

Flying is good.I love this photo
Yup, that is what the doc said on wednesday as he stitched up the four inch long incision across my chest. I had some weird spot removed and he decided to make me look like I had been in a knife fight.

"Uh, I don't know how that is going to happen doc", I said.

" You just don't want to tear open the stitches. Just do lower body".

I count swings as lower body so that's what I did today; although I wasn't really sure I would be able to do anything after waking up on Thursday, taking a look at the wound and realizing he wasn't kidding about the knife fight comment. He may be a surgeon but he wasn't a plastic surgeon. Luckily chicks dig scars, I'm told. At least my wife does,lol.

For the first 36 hours even reaching my arms behind me tugged on the stitches so I was a bit hesitant about todays training but I'm a fast healer and I was back to mild overhead stretching this AM and one arm swings felt fine. No pull at all on the wound.

Most excellent. Two weeks/ three days, it's about the same, right?

7:30-8 am
Joint mobility and stretchout. really working my thai squat position ala Kstar and it is amazing how this little detail in my foot position works it's way right up through my knee into my hip in the best way.

For so long I've had very strange knee mechanics due to many factors but I've always felt that my ankle and shin position were as much to blame for my knee pain of late than the crappy architecture inside the knee. Now I know I'm right.

Getting the ankle into subtalar neutral allows the popliteus to do it's job instead of being locked into an overstretched position and torqueing my knee in the wrong direction making what little knee flexion I do have even worse. Not to mention painful.

Dropping down into the thai squat and doing 5-8 pulses really re sets the ankle just like Brett and Jeff 's ck fms arch creating drills do, but allows me to work my squat pattern and hip mobility similtaneously.

One arm swings
12 kg x10/10 x2
14 kg x10/10
16 kg x10/10x 2
20 kg x10/10 x 5 sets

24 kg x8/8 x 5 sets

Tracy told me to cool it and not overdue and I was so happy that I could train I probably would have done just that. So I stopped there with the kbs, although I was amazed how strong I felt and how light the bells felt. It's been a pretty hectic week the last two and I thought I would be beat down but just the opposite.

Being able to train without wrecking the Docs work made me very happy. I have to be able to move or nothing works.

I need to be able to bend and twist and push and and pull and reach and squat and stretch and walk. If I don't do so I get so tight my asymmetries turn me into twisted knot of muscle and pain. Not good.

I need to get on the floor on a regular basis. I need to be able to stretch my arms overhead a lot during the day. My job as a trainer is pretty physical( as opposed to sitting at a computer all day not real work) and it's very obvious to me how much it is when something happens and I can't move well, or lift much.

And the more I work my body the more I have to open it up or it locks up tight.

Sitting is actually injurious to me. I can only sit so long before I HAVE to get up and stretch in a variety of ways. Another reason travel is so tough on me. Sitting in one position for hours is virtually torture for me.

SO even not being able to put my arms out to the side,let along overhead for 48 hours was already taking it's toll on my back and I knew this two weeks thing was just not going to happen. I would just have to be careful and go slowly.

It's not about the loads or the intensities but just being able to move without pain that is so vital to my well being. On so many levels.

Felt great to swing and my groove was solid.

2 KB deadlifts

2 16's x8
2 20'2 x 8
2 24's x 8 x 2

With my arms completely by my side I figured this was pretty safe move. It was and it was strong too.

CB rockits

10's x 20 x 3 sets

wanted to do more but thought better.

datsit.more Tuesday although I don't think I'll go overhead until they take the stitches.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ten minutes of swipes.

Had two cancellations this morning and took the time to rearrange the mats at Girya, get a full stretchout in , and do a ten minute swipe test with the ten pounders. Wasn't sure I was going to do the swipes but I wasn't sore( surprisingly) from the press workout and I was going to the Docs today to get a chunk of skin cut out of my mid chest and I knew they were going to tell me not to train for awhile.

I thought I better get something in while the getting was good :)) I was right. I'm off upper body for at least a week and damn near everything you do with a kettlebell gets the pecs involved( surprisingly as well)
This will be an interesting opportunity to play with my new found squat pattern and stretches. They told me 'just lower body". OK :))

But I still stalled til the last minute, re setting the mats, stretching out, stretching some more,lol Then at 15 minutes to the next client I decided to turn the camera on and go for it.

"It" was ten minutes of swipes and I wanted 200. Of course the first time in two years I did 100 was three weeks ago and a 100% jump is reasonable right? lol. These are the tens though and that is different for me.

AND, the swipe is the most natural bell move I do. I can totally relax during it. I just wish kb's were that easy.

I did love this though and felt the hairs on the back of my neck standing up mid way when the music was rocking, I was feeling strong, in the Zone( where I love to be more than anyplace than next to my love) knowing I was going to get my goal, knowing it would be a strong performance and that I was in control.How nice to have nothing hurt.

And being able to go faster and faster as the time passed.

Strong is so good.

next swipe test is 15's for 100 reps.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

28 kg long cycle press ladder: 2-5 reps.

It's amazing how far my press has come. From it being a throwaway cradle gift I took for granted for so many years as I concentrated on my less developed and talented lower body, to not being able to do it at ALL for over two years due to injury to the last two years of buildup from this workout.

It was a great start, with 3x3 short cycle with the 28 kg, just on a lark and intuition, to being able to train and progress it all this time with the 28 now feeling like a regular work weight and nothing special.

But MAN I am tight in the shoulders these days from all the volume and this was true today even after a solid one hour stretchout. Of course the stretchout was followed by an hour and a half of coaching but you would think more of the gained mobility would carry over. Ah, no.

At least not until I had done another half hour of pressing,lol. Then I was warm. It's so much fun to get old :))

ANd, as usual I had no idea of how heavy it would feel in my hands and the 20 kg warmup that felt heavy was not a good start.

It was not a good start with only one instead of two days rest after our weekend party but that's the way the cards were dealt so they were the one's I played. Didn't turn out so bad at all.

6-7 am
stretch and mobility work. playing with bands and hip tractioning,lots of squat pattern stretching and overhead work as well

8:30 Clean and press, long cycle

one arm swings
16 kg x 5/5 x2
16 kg x 5/5 x2

long cycle c& p
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x3/3
24 kg x3/3 ( this felt strong, first set that did)

28 kg x 2/2
19 reps per side, 38 total

not bad at all. arms were just very sore and had to go more cautiously than I wanted to.

Two Hand CB arm cast

20 lbs x5/5
25 lbx5/5
35 lbs x 6/6

two hand shield casts
20 lbs x8/8
25 lbs x8/8 x 2 sets

3 x8 reps

these all felt great. definitely helped traction the tight elbows and forearms

datsit. tomorrow some cb swings

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gotta show up.

If it's Sunday I'm not supposed to be training but we planned on doing Saturday's workout today as we knew it was going to be a very late night,especially for us, on Friday and didn't want to risk anything trying to train on very little sleep and too much wine ;).

Still it felt very weird going to Girya this morning but as I always say, it's consistency that crucial to keeping one's training momentum, not so much the intensity.It's a VERY slippery slope when one decides to start missing workouts and the more you do the weaker your mind gets and the more easy it is to miss the next one.

Until one morning you wake up and it's been weeks or even months and you're totally deconditioned and weak as a kitten. Starting over is way harder for me than just keeping going so that's what I did today. As is usually the case, you never know when you are going to pull a good workout out of the hat and today was a solid one. Go figure .

Plus, I never feel better from not training, just weaker, stiffer and older.And even though I stretched out and did tons of mobility drills yesterday it's just not the same as swinging those freaking cannonballs around. Swinging bells is just hard. But I feel so much better when I'm done.

I also did what I was supposed to do and got there early and spent a solid 30 minutes doing stretches and mobility work.

Played with the jump stretch bands tractioning my hips and shoulders ala Kelly's stuff and it was good. I did lots of what I called scap trap distractions( one arm stretch then straight arm retraction) and retractions when I first started getting into my shoulder rehab but I haven't for awhile. It's good stuff.

Never tractioned my hips before and I still have to play around with it and study more vids as it didnt feel quite right. Did do starretts couch stretch for my quads and hip flexors yesterday and got a surprising release on that area which let my hips open up even more. Nice.

When I went to bed last night I knew I was going to snatch the 24kg today instead of volume or heavy swings first. The message was sent and knew I should listen.Turned out well.

12 kg x8/8
16 kg x6/6 x2
20 kg x5/5

24 kgx5/5 x 5 sets
112 reps
5936 lbs

I did feel a bit rusty as I haven't snatched the 24 much of late even though my snatch volume is way up since I've started snatch vo2 again.The 16 is just not the same as the 24 and it took a few ( 5) sets before it didn't feel a bit heavy.

Technique, however( from the max day) felt great and bell speed was very good as well as overall total body coordination.

I did start running out of gas though and skipped set 9/9 as I wanted to do a 10 rep set per arm and didn't think I had both sets in me.

One arm swings
24 kg x5/5
28kg x5/5
32 kg x5/5
36 kg x5/5!!!

Nice. I also knew last night that I should not worry so much about one arm swing volume and focus on it as an assistant exercise for my snatches and cleans and get it as strong as I can. this was the first time I've one armed the 36 kg. Left grip was a bit dodgy, actually, and strangely( perhaps more chalk) but the right arm was solid.

Five is definitely my favorite rep number in anything,lol.

Hike swing park
24 kg x 1 x 10 reps
28 kg uphill ladder
1x5 x 3 sets

what this means is that I would do one hike pass, then an extra swing,then park the bell. then one hike, two swings then park again,Up to five, which was way harder than I thought. Sixth rep would have been slow and that's a no-no. No slow ballistics.

Did it three times and it was killer, especially at the end.

Two clubbell swipes

(2) 10 lbs x 25
(2) 15 x 20

grip was going at the end so I stopped. solid though. Strange how I prefer to do one-two longer sets with this exercise and not "train" it. just the opposite of how I feel about kb swing and snatch work.

post stretch

lots of foam roll, ankle mobility, hamstring stretches and overhead hangs. Finishing with a solid stretchout has really reduced post workout stiffness and DOMS. Nice.

datsit. back on schedule

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Looks like the same position.

Looks like my grandaughter Sofi is a squat master already! I'll make sure she doesn't lose this vital skill.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Snatch VO2 37 sets of 7

Continuing with this weeks theme of STEP BACK, I did not use my 8 am cancellation to train myself more with a double split but instead worked on my stretching HARD focusing on deeping my squat stretch position.

Having spent the last five days obsessing over Kelly Starret's mobility project on youtube I started playing with the foot position in my squat stretches and had great responses. More stable, deeper squat position and, most importantly, Less knee pain. In fact, almost none, except for the fact that my knee was bending more than it had done in quite some time:))

Most important was my now having a new motor pattern in my squat that actually seemed to work. At least it did all day today and that is great.The load was on my hips and glutes, not my knee, and the ankle stayed stable all day. Which is not normally the case.

Plenty of time spent on hip mobilization stretches as well as the usual overhead work. This was just what I needed.

2 pm

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
15:15 7 rep sets
37 sets
259 reps
9324 lbs

It was a long day today and did not feel very energetic going in but my groove was solid and the pace was fast. No problems with wind at all and the 37 sets just flex by. Would have done 40 easy but knew I was supposed to take it easy and was running out of fuel anyway.

Clubbell mills
10 lb club x 10/10 x 5 sets

easy 100 reps and haven't done this move in eons either. perfect for wednesdays when I start with snatches as I only have a 10 and 15 lb cb at Stones. When I can do 100 each arm with the 15 I will get a a 20 or another set of 15 for swipes as well :))

Cold water shower

wow. this is weird. It sucks when it's happening but i consistently get a very strange 'warm glow' that lasts at least 30 minutes after each dowsing session.perfect after snatch vo2 and on warm days. can't wait til it's hot everyday and I can do this more regularly.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

24 kg Long cycle clean and press, the ramp back up.

Definitely been sorer this week than I have in eons. Not sure the tgu's are going to be that helpful to my shoulder as they really made my pecs work and that's what I've been working on releasing all these years of rehab! We'll see but the volume definitely had an effect.

Tight pecs and lats do not help my shoulder ROM so it will be interesting to see whether my stretching and mobility protocols can overcome just a smidgeon of technique work on the move. After last weeks 32 kg training I pushed the re set button for a three week minicycle alternating the 32, then the 24 then the 28 kg before resetting again with the 24.

Today was the start and I was hoping the 24 was going to feel as light as it should. Luckily it did and it definitely helped to get my full one hour stretchout going early at just slightly before 6 am. I needed the extra time, that's for sure.

Especially when I had a bunch of new things to try out that I got of Kelly Starretts Youtube channel :))

6 am -7 am stretchout

usual stretches plus the pec minor release with tennis ball as well as 1st rib mobilization and shoulder tractioning and external rotation work with jump stretch bands. Also squat stretch on back against wall, coffee table hip rotator work. RKC level 2.o hip flexor stretch and lOTS of ankle mobility work as well as big toe extension work.

2-3 minute overhead shoulder stretch holds, 3 ways and the usual bretzells and their variations.

one arm swings 3 x5/5/5 16 kg
one arm cleans 2 x 5/5 16 kg

long cycle clean and press
16 kg x4/4
20 kg x3/3

24 kg x5/5 x 5 sets

The video clip above shows the last set and I was finally getting warmed up by then! My shoulders were way tight, lats too but they finally opened up a bit. the weight felt light and moved fast but things were creaky.

Two hard arm cast
25 lb clubbell x 10/10 x 4 sets

these felt great. thought about the 35 but wanted to stay light

one arm shield cast
10lbs x 10/10
15 lbs x 8/8

was ahead of schedule and threw it in. good balance for shoulder as it turned out.

two hand shield cast
20 lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x 10/10

It was the first time Tracy and I wore the same shirt to train in,lol. Too funny.

Tracy wanted to do more so we finished with these. SO cool to train with my woman on Tuesdays, just she and me.Her presses are getting so much better all the time,and her shoulder development is keeping up with her form and strength.Go figure.

Bodyblade laterals


man these are way harder than they should be. laterals delts are just tired, lol.great finisher.

Barbell Deadlifts(!)
135 x 1 x 10 sets

drove home and walked right to the bar and pulled 10 singles with about 10 seconds rest between them. double overgrip and it felt so weird and yet so familiar to pull again. Like riding a bike and I wanted to put more weight on the bar but definitely knew better.We will definitely have to wait and see about adding this in the mix.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Stepping back.

It's been a great ramp up but today I knew it was definitely time to scale down the load and the intensity. No worries, it felt right. My arms ,especially my forearms, were pretty dang toasty from all those heavy swipes and fast snatches.

Volume or intensity, both wear you down, just in different ways, and require different types of recovery. There is also the synergy of fatigue that occurs when you mix them together in a training cycle as well.

Today felt like the right time to up the stretching part of my training for the next week and downplay the loading.

7-8 am

full hour stretchout. got some great new shoulder mobility ideas from Matt Schinabecks blog NorthWest Kettlebells. I really got on the pec minor with the tennis ball and it got right to the point,lol. Great new stuff. I also put the tennis ball behind the first rib and did shoulder mobility work as well.
MY right shoulder flexibility and movement is SO much better than ever but it still has SO long to go to where it is really normal. Oh well, what's the alternative?

Used the high density rumble roller as well and this thing is intense. just great on the messed up adhesions in and around my knee, calf and hammy.You can really manipulate the prongs to get right inside individual sections of each muscle; very much like the thumbs of a serious deep tissue worker. I now see I need the full size one as well. Too much trouble to manipulate the little guy for everyday use.

For travel it will rock.Just like my little netbook,lol.great for travel , not so much for home.

TGU to straight arm support.

body weight x 3 x3 ( just working the rolling pattern)
10 kg x3/3/
12 kg x3/3
16 kg x3/3 x 3 sets

For some reason I can now do these on my right side and my shoulder is fine! ? This is very odd because ever since coming home from my RKC In 2005 I had to give up on the right side tgu because my right shoulder wouldn't tolerate it and I didn't want to overwork my already overworked left shoulder.

But teaching it so much these days for HKC's, RKC re certs and preparing students for all of the above I do the bodyweight version a lot and now it seems I can put some weight overhead as well. Nice.

Left side is actually weaker at the 16kg because my left leg/hip doesn't want to play nice in that position and the left rectus/oblique/tfl and rolling pattern is weaker.

Power Swings( 2 hand)

16kg x 10
20 kg x10
24kg x20
32 kg x5/5
90 reps
1,1460 pounds

Since my arms were cooked the idea of one arms to start was not fun.Plus it was time to lighten the load so I started with these. good idea. it went very well and 10 reps with the 32 was not easy at all to keep the speed up for every part of every rep. Precisely the idea :))

One arm swings
16 kg x5/5+5 transfers x 2
20 kg x5//+5 trn

24 kg x 5/5

These started tough and finished well. MY tight forearms reminded me not to grip too tight.

KB arm bar
16 kg x3 x 5 sec holds
20 kg x3 x 5 sec holds

actually too tired to do anything else and should have called it but decided to see how these felt. they were ok but I could feel more fatigue in the pecs shoulders and upper and decided enough...

of those but then

Hanging leg raises

3 sets of 6 reps

ok, now I'm really done. 20 minutes of stretching and then into some food and rest.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Swipes and Snatches, Volume/ double split

I had a 6 am opening today and thought it might be 'fun' to do my swipe workout first thing, then do snatch vo2 when I got home today at 2pm. In the world of bodybuilding, and, strangely enough, Olympic Weightlifting, splitting up workouts to increase intensity as well as increase recovery is a well established method among the hardcore.

I know that ,especially because they are both high rep workouts, that whatever gets done first will have the most energy, and the most intensity as well. But even though swipes are MUCH easier on my body than snatches 6 am is about as early as I can even think of doing anything but stretching.

I also had to decide whether to just train first or to stretch first and then train. I only had 75 total minutes to get it all done and ready for work so I had to decide. I chose to train first and stretch after as I was feeling pretty 'spry' when I got to Girya and Tracy, of course, jumped right into her million rep swing workout with no warmup :))

That wasn't the right choice but no harm no foul, just the realization that I always need to stretchout before the first workout:))

6 am


two clubbell rockits/swings:

10's x 30 seconds x 3 sets
15's x 30 seconds x 2 sets
20's x 20 seconds x 2 sets

10's x 10 x 2
15's x 10 x2

20's x 10 x 5 sets
15's x 20 x 3 sets

OUCH! this was NOT easy at all. The warm ups went great but five sets of 10 with two 20's was seriously tough: on my grip! My forearms and wrist are tired and this challenged then well. the move felt strong and it was the most volume I have done with the 20's.
The 3 sets of 20 with the 15's were tough on the grip as well after about 10 reps.

One CB Shield cast

10 lbs x 100 reps continuous. Switching arms every 10 reps.

This was a bonus. Had some time and decided to do these light and just kept going. Very strong.

6:40 - 7 am

stretchout and TGU practice with 12 kg

left hammy was tight as a drum and needed some extra attention. actually practiced my tgu on BOTH side up to the high bridge position and couldn't believe how good the right side felt! I haven't had this much ROM in that shoulder in that movement EVER!

3-4 sets of 3 reps each in the half tgu.

It's a good thing stretching doesn't work ;}}

2 pm Snatch Vo2

16 kg
35 sets of 7
245 reps
8,820 lbs

this was so strong and easy. and fast, despite my tight forearms. Nice that it was cool out today so the sweat wasn't a factor. that won't last long but it was good today! really brought my stance in today and it felt better.Everything felt strong and fast. I want to work up to 50 sets and cycle from 35 to 50 sets every 4 weeks. When 50 sets of 7 are easy start in on 8's.


135 x 5 singles.

I can't believe it,lol. I've set up the deadlift bar in my garage now so it's always loaded to 135 and thought I would start pulling again a bit and see how it felt. Hey, first presses then two hand swings, and now pullups and tgu's? why not deadlifts too? Start easy and do just a few singles. If can work up to 5 singles or so with 300 everything else would start to feel very light indeed. Why not?

It felt very very odd indeed though, setting up against a deadlift bar. It's been a long long time.

Cold Shower : longer than a minute this time,lol. This sucks during but I feel SO good after, for quite awhile, strangely enough. I can feel the physical reaction in my skin as well as my core. Can't wait for the real heat, I will be cold water dowsing all over the place.

Datsit :))

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

32 kg Presses

It's always when you least expect it. Both good and bad, it seems. I've been on a roll of late, a good one but yesterday I felt like I had been beat up by someone with a baseball bat and a bad day. Everything was sore; in a good way sore, muscle sore not joint or tweaked sore but sore nonetheless.

I figured I was do after the nonstop weekend last week and then extra workouts, very high rep sets on new movments followed by more but heavier hi rep sets and then some really heavy stuff on Saturday. My idea of great fun but I was reminded, over and over in my head of numerous things.

1) Don't be greedy
2) The next step off a peak is always down, step back or fall off.
3) My "tough guy" periodization schedule ' heavy, heavier , heavier, injured, light, light, heavier, etc.
4)You have to balance intensity with recovery efforts and
5) Don't increase loads more than 5% a week at best.

I don't where I was but it was more than 5% of the week before, that I knew.

But I also knew that I hadn't felt this good in years. Really, years. Maybe 15 or more and I was like a kid with a new toy, I wanted to take it for a ride and play with it. I was almost giddy with being able to put some weight on the gas pedal for a change and seemingly take my foot completely off the brake for awhile too.

But rules # 1 and 2 were yelling at me and I didn't really know where the peak was this time, which is always the problem.

Hence, Rule #1.

Travel and teaching always impacts my training, as it has to, and it should because my priority these days is not any meeting on a platform,nor training personal bests or looking to find my limits but staying steady, increasing my function and work capacity and being able to do my job as best I can as often as I can and maximized THAT potential.

Oh and yeah. Stay the hell out of pain. Yeah that.

I haven't pressed the 32 kg since Jan 18 and I've been itching too but I couldn't rush the schedule at all and take a risk of tweaking something so I was really looking forwards to playing with it today, on schedule after a real weekend of training and recovery. Not teaching and airports.

So when I got home from work and gotten progressively more beat up through the afternoon I thought for sure it was the end of the run and really time to back off and lighten up today.

But I woke up feeling pretty damn good, recovered even, with very little muscle soreness stiff ness or joint pain. Wow. Naps and good sleep and great food can do that it seems.Nice

But I knew I still wouldn't know til after the 24 or maybe even the 28 kg was in my hands. Sometimes it's a light gravity day and sometimes gravity is pissed off. Today gravity was on a personal day.

6 am-7 am full stretchout with emphasis on overhead stretches and prepping the lats for later. Full body stretch though. Everything relaxed on cue.

one arm swings+ transfers warmup
16 kg x5/5/5 x3
16 kg x5/5 x2

Clean and press Short cycle
16 kg x4/4
20 kg x3/3
24 kg x3/3
28kg x 1/1

32 kg x 1/1 x 5 sets!

Strong! I knew I was good when although I was planning on taking two low rep warmups with the 28 I knew I didn't need more than one. The 32 felt light in my hand, on the backswing and and in the rack. EXACTLY how it's supposed to feel. I also knew I could have done multiple reps with it but that was the not being greedy part.

I probably shouldn't have even been pressing it today but it was great! As I was lowering the first rep of the first set with the 32 I actually thought;'this is going to be a regular weight soon and the 36 kg is next.

Almost forgot how good strong feels.

Also here's little video tutorial I made during the warmups on how I use the lats for the press; how I can pull the elbow down to get a good front delt prestretch and a lat contraction at the same time OR JUST flex the lats and still get a good launch with no downward motion of the arm at all after the clean.

Personally, with my shoulder history I'm all for using the safest technique I can and that's pulling the elbow down a bit and flaring the lats at the start. If I need to be tested I can do it but I'm not training like that.

Two hand clubbell arm casts

15lbs x 5/5
25 lbs x5/5

35 lbs x 10/10 x 3 sets PR!!

wow this was strong too! Crazy hard though. The second arm fatigues way more than you expect after how strong the first side is.I probably should do each side as a separate set and just change grips after a decent rest. second side always gets gipped ;))

Bodyblade laterals

3 sets of 8/8

shoulders cooked and done.

Now that I've gotten back and have some down time for awhile perhaps I can cycle my presses like this

week one 24 kg
week two 28 kg
week three 32 kg
repeat cycle then on week seven 20 kg for reps or a special press exercise( stacked press, bottoms up etc)

I can determine the sets and reps for that load that day and based on the previous weeks training. Being able to use the 32 every third week will really set me up for the 36.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Power Swing.

The background for my new business cards :))

I talked a little about this new method of training the swing and snatch that Tracy and I developed during an HKC trying to troubleshoot a candidate that could not reset his hips very well after the first rep. He could do so well at the start of the hike pass but then would stay too upright for the his subsequent swings.

I fixed that by having him replace the bell on the ground for each and every rep after that, as a muscle memory drill and it worked. I just thought of it as another good cue to use with a student but Tracy took the ball and ran with it creating all kinds of new ways to program it for her classes.

Being a powerlifter at heart I quickly realized that here was a way that I could get away without doing so many reps per set, lift even heavier AND not only keep the speed and power levels up but INCREASE them.

This was a way to train the swing for SINGLES and make it even harder than rep sets. The pure essence of Hardstyle, if you will.

" We choose Power over efficiency. Striving for max acceleration in the quick lifts and max tension in the grinds".

This IS the definition of RKC Hardstyle and here was way to really train the swing and snatch for max acceleration.

Tracy called the technique simply : Hike, Swing, Park" as it describes what to do perfectly. But the more I have trained them the more I want to call them Power Swings, as this perfectly describes the intent of each and every rep.

It immediately reminded me of training box squats WSB style. The reason WSB squats onto boxes instead of free squats is that sitting on the box deactivates the stretch reflex, which really helps one coming out of the bottom of a squat strongly.

The same reason touch and go benches are easier than paused benches is that the pause (somewhat) diminishes the stretch reflex and makes the lift harder. Pausing on a box before standing up requires one to overcome way more inertia and teaches one how to increase their starting strength, rate of force development as well as speed strength.

AND you can use less weight and get more results. Nice.

The Power swing does basically the same thing for the kettlebell swings BUT I've found I can actually use MORE weight in each set, although for significantly less reps. Getting more with less, sounds good.
Because I get to re set up before each rep and make sure I am in the perfect start position it feels very safe as well.

I talked to Pavel about this and he said he guessed it would require 35 % more energy to do the same work than if done with the stretch reflex engaged! That's a lot. PLUS you get the extra benefit of all that static strength in the bottom position.

This is detailed in our new DVD that Dragon Door is producing on Master the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing but here's what it looks like:

You can apply the same techniques to the snatch as well. Here is my last set of 5's with the 24 kg:

The DVD should be out before we know it.We've seen the rough cut and man we are proud already !!

Starting each set from a dead stop is NO JOKE.

The workout:

7:30-8 am stretchout( REALLY needed this. Got serious Multiple DOMS from the tues, wed and thursday workouts,lol) Plus I did not stretch out as seriously as I needed to afterwards and things are tightening up fast. Especially the lats with all those swipes.

No worries just have to stretch them out but my stretch work is a workout many times holding poses for 3 minutes plus!

I'm not always in the mood :))

One arm swings
16kg x5/5+5 transers x 2 sets
20 kg x5/5/5
24 kg x5/5/5
28 kg x5/5/5 x 5 sets
32 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets

This went very well and the weights felt light even though my arms were still a bit sore and tight.Nice to play with the two pood again.

Power snatch
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x5/5

man there is not much volume there but it kicked my ass! and nicks just makes it so easy to try to accelerate each and every rep maximally ( concentrically). I make sure to keep the one arms using the stretch reflex to train that too.

I plan on moving the lifts around on this day to make sure I don't favor one form of ballistic development over the other. it will create a natural periodization. I almost started with the two hand swing but tried to "stay on schedule", i.e. what I wrote down earlier. Mixing it up according to what is most fatigued makes more sense.

Power Swings
24 kg x10
28kg x8
32 kg x6
36 kg x 5
40 kg (!) x 5

Nice! this was the first time I have swung the 40 in ages and it was strong. I stopped there from either doing another or more sets or going up because the bell speed was slowing down at the end of the set and that's the cue your power output is going down. Plus I was tired,lol

Tactical Pullups
12 kg on foot x 1/2

wow.I've been working with a client that's going to Level 2 in Hungary with Tracy and I and I will be teaching the tactical pullup at the cert and have been thinking that since I can press again perhaps I can do pullups again without locking up my shoulder.

This day seemed like a good day to put them and they were easy. I really focused on my hollow position with toe flexion and pulled with the elbows in touching the neck at the top. Still need way more shoulder extension to get to the collarbone but it's a good start.

Put the 12 kg bell on my toe just to see how it felt and it felt hard! Man, I could feel every flexor muscle in the front of my body tighten up as I pulled. Half way is a good enough start and I want to workout up to 5x 5 before I start adding more weight.

This getting better stuff is FUN! It's 12:34 now as I write this and I already feel way recovered. Nice.