Monday, February 28, 2011

" Now the hard work's starting"


SO proclaimed John DuCane at the 10th hour of our 12 hour shoot for our new DVD, produced and directed by DragonDoor on Mastering the Hardstyle Swing. And he wasn't kidding. We had two more hours of swinging and posing for the cover art for the DVD with the still photographer.

I know. High quality problems

What became very apparent after we finished Tracy's Programming the Kettlebell Swing DVD is that while it was perfect for those that knew how to do a proper kb swing and needed to know how to train it, SO MANY just did not know how to swing and wanted us to point them to a resource that would give them the best instruction.

While there are, obviously, many great DVDs that teach the KB swing( Pavel's original Russian Kettlebell Challenge and Enter the Kettlebell, Brett Jones and Michael Castrogiovanni's Kettlebell Basics) the swing sections were often buried, sometimes very deeply, in these more advanced resources or there was too much advanced instruction for true beginners.

One of the great things that has happened since the inception of the HKC last September was the incredible organization of the progressions in how we teach the three basic swing forms in both the RKC and the HKC. After many many years of certifications, workshops, in depth email discussions and debriefs amongst all the Master and Senior instructions the progressions have reached their zenith, imho.

I really, really, really wanted to make this video and share with as many people as possible the best and most logical way for them to learn the most important of all the kettlebell exercises. Pretty much the exact way they would learn it if they went to an HKC or an RKC.

But, with the unique cues, drills and workouts that both Tracy and I have come up with after so many years of teaching everyday people this incredible skill everyday. It's the cornerstone of our training methods and teaching.

While learning anything from a DVD is never a substitute for one on one instruction I wanted there to be the next best thing; a template, if you will, a reminder of what one would have learned with an RKC/ HKC instructor or after coming back from a cert and wanting to be able to access the details of all the things they learned.

All the subtleties and nuances, mistakes and corrections that they need to know to learn this most basic and most important of kettlebell exercises safely, effectively and quickly. And how to do it Hardstyle, of course :)) With Power.

I haven't, of course ,seen the finished product but I am already proud of the job Tracy, Fawn Friday and I did over the weekend and I know people will love and appreciate this video.

While I didn't get my regular swing workout in I did hundreds and hundreds of all the progressions for the two handed swing and it's variations and really got some serious work in! I even decided to train my own swing on Saturdays with these progressions again as I got quickly re acquainted with just how incredibly powerful they are; and how they can provide so much quality work in so little time.

The RKC focuses on practice first, before training and it became even more apparent just how well this works this weekend.

Not sure whose quote it is but "the difference between the Elite and the rest is that the Elite are better at the basics", and I know that's true. Just practicing the basics will be all the workout 99% of most regular people need.

I think this DVD will help bridge the gap for any that want it and to be able to pause the information, study it, and then go forward to the next step when you are ready will be such a great tool for so many.

I can't wait to see this take shape over the next few months.

Tomorrow I will be 54 years old and I think I will do a special press workout to acknowledge and honor of how good things are now and physical restoration that has been taking place these last few years.

The fact that I am even thinking about doing this just illustrates precisely just how far I've come.And all because of that cannonball with a handle :))

datsit.

Friday, February 25, 2011

In my dreams

I can move like this. I dreamt of gymnastics virtually every night for the 8 years I competed, working out new moves, perfecting old ones and just imagining the freedom of perfect movement. These guys can do this in real time. More than amazing. Now I dream of just running again but watching this stuff always pumps me up.

I love this movie :))

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The classic lifts and loading parameters.

When I studied Westside Barbell methods one of the most basic principles Louie taught was that one does not try to raise the result in any of the classic lifts by using the lifts themselves in a linearly progressive fashion.

Trying to increase the weight on the bar week in and week out; even if one deloads and waves the process usually results in your results going backwards in 5-6 weeks if you are a beginner, way sooner if you are advanced.

One of the reasons this occurs is because as the percentage of your one repetition maximum increases the bar moves more slowly and your power output, or rate of force production, goes down.Eventually WAY down, until the bar is moving very very slowly and once the force you can produce can't match the weight on the bar, it stops moving entirely.

If one uses the squat only to increase their squat at some point your ability to create power goes so low all you have in one gear: first/ Great for grinding but not so good for explosive acceleration.

On the flip side if all one does is lighter weights ( under 85 %) the bar or the bell flies up but when the loads gets heavy( it's all easy til it's heavy, remember :)) you don't have the capacity to grind out the slow moving lift.

So you need both, dynamic speed strength for power production ( and, in the WSB method, maintaining form on the classic lift) and grinding strength for the increase in absolute strength.WSB uses the classic lifts for speed and form work and variations on a theme of that classic lift( same but different) on another day for absolute strength gains.

I've been thinking for awhile about how this works with kettlebells, specifically the press and think I've got it figured out.

While I've been thinking about how to apply this to bell work I've also been reluctant to do so because my progress with the classic lift has been so good. Don't fix what's not broken eh? But last week got me thinking that I've been trying to do TOO much heavy work with the classic press itself and it showed up in me losing my groove a bit last week.

So today it was back to the 24 kg for 5/5 x 5 sets long cycle and a complete emphasis on form and speed during each lift.I can see doing this with the 28 kg as well but instead of hitting the 32 kg for doubles and triples I probably should start including some variations on the pressing theme for 3-6 singles in lifts like the stacked press, bottoms up press, and clubbell torch press.

When I want to test the standard kb military press just test it.

The only problem with this is that I am worried about doing max effort lifts anymore on a regular basis,lol! I do think this program would work but not sure I should be the one to test it out.

Regardless, todays workout was killer. I almost don't want to train short cycle presses anymore, that's how much I am enjoying the long cycle :))

6-7 am stretchout

this always is good. lots of emphasis on adductors and overhead.

8:30 Long cycle clean and press
one arm swing warmup
16kg x5/5/5/5 x3
cleans
16 kg x5/5 x2

clean and press
16 kg x5/5
x3/3
20 kg x3/3
24 kg x5/5 x 5 sets.

so easy. this is a video of my last set

Two Handed Shield cast
15 lb x8/8
20 lbs x8/8
25 lb x8/8
35 lb x8/8x 2 PR


these went great but were intense! That bell is no joke and it was great to get more than 5 reps on this move.

One arm casts
15lbs x10/10
20 lbs x 7/7x2

these were tougher than expected ,especially on the left arm, where my lat wanted to go to sleep and not do it's job! I haven't done these with the 20's before so that was good.


Bodyblade laterals
2.5 lb blade to 8/8 x 4 sets alternating arms non stop

datsit:))

I might try to start alternating tuesdays where I do multiple sets of long cycle sets of 5's with the 24's and 3's with the 28's for speed work and then do the 'special' presses on the next week. I'll think on it :))

Saturday, February 19, 2011

One arm swings and heavy clubs

Had plans to do a clubbell only workout today but the lure of the swing pulled me in,lol. I thought I would do a simple weight ladder and get some decent weigh in my hands but my groove actually felt the best it has in awhile so I kept going.

The biggest problem with doing any kind of snatch volume on Thursdays is having sore arm flexors on Saturday, not the best thing when going into heavy or high volume one arm swings.Today was no exception and it took awhile for my forearms and brachialis to relax.That is one thing the clubbells are great for; really unloading my tight arm flexors and giving them an entirely different loading pattern.

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5 + 5 transfers x 3
20 kg x 5/5 + 5 transfers
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x 8/8
x9/9
x 10/10 x 5 sets(!)
170 reps
10,710 lbs

not bad at all considering I haven't done straight sets in 10 rep blocks for eons.especially with the 28 kg.

still playing around with my groove. I know I have to have more knee bend than I have in the past to get the shock absorption from my legs/hips instead of my lower back and hammies but I also know I need to really let the bell go back pretty far to get the momentum I need from the pendulum action and NOT from my arms/shoulders.

This becomes very apparent when I start out with sore arms. This technique allowed me to not have any tightness in the bottom and reversal part of the swing plus significantly better bell speed on the upswing.

I can't cut it short or my speed suffers a lot and it becomes too much of a muscular action and not enough of a ballistic.

I need to remember to respect my own lumbar pelvic rhythm,lol.

Two Club swings
15 lbers x 20
20 lbs x20 x 2

these really unlock the elbows by allowing them TO lock against resistance as well as pack the shoulders deep. being able to create tension in the shoulder while IN external rotation. So glad my back can tolerate the bilateral work again. The close stance, arms outside the legs again, is the perfect compliment to all my one arm KB work.

These REALLY torched my grip, even more apparent after all the heavy high rep one arm swings I did today.

Torch Swing
(2) 15 lbs x 5 x2
(2) 20 lbs x 5 x2

These were fun too,nice to go overhead with these. SO much like swinging to a handstand on the parallel bars.

Two Hand swipes
20 lbs x 5/5
25 lbs x 5/5
35 lbs x 5/5 x2
25 lbs x 10/10

I was ready for some two hand work at this point to take the load off my poor grip,lol I hadn't really done more than a few of these with the 35 lb bell so I wanted to make sure to get that in the books.I can see that I need to get my long arm locked better in the bottom position.
Here's the video


Two hand arm cast
25 lbs x 8/8
35 lbs x5/5 x 2

These were a solid finisher and always make me feel strong. Work the crap out of my triceps, lats and even pecs!

datsit:)) Let the weekend begin!

Friday, February 18, 2011

24 kg snatch ladders

Had a client cancellation so I got to get my training in at 9 am instead of the usual 2 pm. Much easier for me and it showed in the workout. Did my full stretchout from 6-7 am which really helps set me up for the later workout. This has shown to make a big difference to me when I can get it in.

Training(especially big ROM/dynamic exercises like the snatch) without getting my "alignment" right never seems to go well for me. I like to address any asymmetries and imbalances I have accumulated from the past day/night before I load the frame again.

Having what Paul Chek would refer to as a 'bent frame' makes this a necessity; plus it feels good:))

Since last week was speed snatch work today was 24 kg training and it felt surprisingly light, always a good sign, as is a speedy and easy warmup. The fact that I could ladder up was also a good sign.

9 am

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

snatches

16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5 x2

24 kg x5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x8/8 x 2 rounds
20 kg x10/10

20kg snatches= 40
24 kg snatches= 104
total work reps 144

not bad at all. here's a video of my 8 rep set on the first round through



My key focus is to move the bell as fast as I can with my best form, whether it's the 16 kg for 15: 15 speed work or my 'heavy' bell for sets and reps. I always want to be as powerful as possible on each rep and that means monitoring bell speed. I have wondered why I detest doing long slow sets so much and this is the reason, they have to move much more slowly ( less power) in order to go the distance. Running or jogging instead of sprinting.

I'd rather sprint anyday.

I like the development of power, strength and hypertrophy this gives me and if one does enough sets plenty of strength endurance as well.

datsit :))

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back bend over stability ball.

One of my first stretches each day. Fantastic for opening up the abs, hip flexors, lats and pecs.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

28 kg Short cycle press , same but different.



I had delusions of grandeur last night and thought I would attempt 5/5x 5 in the 28 kg short cycle KB press in todays workout. I looked back over my last SC workout and I did this:

4/4x4
3/3 x3

giving me 50 total reps and a huge personal best.It was easy enough( last time) that I thought doing another rep per set and one more total set would not be that tough and I was close but not exactly on the money. I thought I would do the same total reps but in another ( more intense) fashion and get a true same but different workout.

My 6 am stretchout went well and I felt really good all morning( a sure sign things might not work out,lol).

6-7 am stretchout

the usual suspects with overhead stick drill emphasis

8:30 am Short cycle clean and press

warmup
one arm swings 16 kg x5/5/5/5 x3

Long cycle clean and press
16 kg x5/5
x 3/3
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x 2/2 long cycle and 1 rep short cycle

work sets
28 kg x 5/5
x 5/5
x 3/3
24 kg x 3/3
28 kg x5/5x2
x3/3
x3/3

The first set went well. Very well. The second set went all right but I noticed a strange grinding in my left shoulder on the 4th rep that had me a bit concerned.My groove felt a bit off and I wasn't sure if I was racking the weight in the right place but took note of it.

I have been loving long cycle so much lately and one of the reasons is that the clean before each press really sets up the groove and helps my get right into my lats

One the third set the grinding noise was the same or worse so I just did 3 reps and set it down. Way too close to next weeks dvd project to risk anything, so I went back to the 24 , video'd it to notice flaws and realized I was letting my elbow get away from being directly under the weight and wasn't pulling the lat tight enough.

Fourth set I was only planning on three but no grinding so I did five. Four sets of five in the short cycle is a PR anyway ,lol. I wanted to finish up with my total of 50 so I did 2 more sets of 3 with no problems at all.

Lesson learned: don't be in such a hurry to do any particular set workout that you let yourself get rushed and forget about the basics.

Lots of stick shrugs in between sets to assure scapular mobility

Clubbell shield casts
one arm
10 lbs x8/8 x2
15 lbs x5/5
x8/8
two handed
20 lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x 10/10
35 lbs x 5/5 x 2 sets

was planning on going up to the 20's on the one arms for the first time but thought better of it understanding my shoulder might not be as good as I think tomorrow and no reason to add insult to injury.

Getting to play with the cruiser bell again made up for it :))

Bodyblade laterals

big blade x 10 reps per side, 5 sets back to back


datsit:)) 24 kg snatches and speed swings on Thursday

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clubbell play day.

We were supposed to be in San Diego today for the DD marketing seminar but an expected family obligation tomorrow meant we had to cancel at the last minute so I had time to train today. I had done swings with my snatches on Thursday and could have done some more but decided to take the day off kbs entirely and see if my body could handle a clubbell only workout.

When I first got my clubs I was excited to see if I could swing with my arms outside my legs as with my arm length and hyperextending elbows it was always a challenge to keep my elbows locked as the bell went into the back swing, one arm or two hand version. The basic two clubbell swing reminded me of swinging on the parallel bars.

Plus, the closer stance played better to my strengths, as I found out( too late), to help my powerlifting squat and deadlift . I don't exactly have wide hips or big legs and glutes so the closer stance allows me to exploit my leverages better. My stance in my kb swing is pretty close as well.

I ended up being very strong in these lifts and my upper body strength and extensive training history really made things relatively easy. I ended doing a decent number of swipes with both the 10 lb'ers and the 15's but then my back went south and I couldn't tolerate the close stance position at all for over a year. Clubbells got limited to arm and shield casts and used mainly for arm and shoulder hypertrophy and mobility. Not a bad thing but I knew I could do some decent weight and numbers with the swipes if my back would let me.

The only way to not get what you want, is to quit and I don't quit much. So it was very satisfying to see that after all this time I could not only do the two bell swings and swipes but that all my other strength gains transfered well to them. Nice :))

Started out with two clubbell swings

(2) 10's x 20 reps
x 15 reps
(2) 15 's x 15
(2) 20's x 15

I havent had the chance to play with the 20's at all since I got them in swings so this was another 'maiden' voyage. These things REALLY tax the grip in a completely different pattern than the kettlebell but still a serious challenge, especially as you accelerate them, as the torque goes up FAST!

I really like the elbow rotation and lockout possible with these swings as they really open up my always tight biceps and brachialis and compliment all my kb swing work perfectly.

heres a clip:

Next up were pendulums, which is basically what I considered a CB 'clean'. Scott Sonnon calls them cleans when done from a dead stop on the floor but to me it's very much like a bottoms up kb clean in mechanics and lat, grip and shoulder stability requirements.

CB Pendulums
10 lbs x 10
15 lbs x 10
20 lbs x 8

these started off fairly rough as the catch at the end required way more stability strength than the 15's and I played with different grips for a few reps til I figured it out.But still the first time with the 20's!

It was great to watch Tracy really handle the 10's and even the 15's in her swings and really really enjoyed the challenge as well! She is such an athlete that she really rises to the occasion , and clubbell or kettlebell the girl knows the swing!

Next up were swipes and at this point I thought I was probably pushing it considering I hadn't done any real double bell swings for ages and now I was doing some decent reps AND laddering up to somewhat heavy weight but I wasn't feeling ANY indication of imbalances or asymmetries in my hammies, glutes or back so I kept going.

This is the move I think I have the most performance potential in, IF my back would let me.I did the 20's for the first time ever today and they were not as hard as I expected. Strong fixes almost everything and being able to put up some decent weight these days in my kb presses has really transfered well to , well, everything.

I have waited a HELL of a long time( many years) to be able to feel like I can express externally what my mind conceive of internally. I know I have to be very careful and not get greedy but things haven't felt this balanced in forever. My being able to walk with just about normal mechanics speaks to that AND, I know, will further help my recovery.

At the very least by not jacking me up with every step :))

Swipes
(2) 10's x10
(2) 15's x 10
(2) 20's x 7
x8

I started off with a medium choke but started to let my grip move back as the set went on and they were easier. The next set I took no choke.

Two Handed Swings and Pendulums

I saw this in Scott Sonnons Big Book of Clubbells when I got it years but never played with it.Having done all the two handed arm casts and shields and swipes with the 25lber recently made me really want to play with the cruiser bell with this move too.

Two handed swings/pendulums
15 lbs x5/5/5/5
20 lb x5/5/5/5
25 lb x5/5/5/5
35 lb x5/5/5/5 x2!

nice ,I like these alot.I have to get a bit taller on these or stand on something elevated as with the two handers if I don't choke up a bit I tend to hit the clubhead on the floor as I dig deeper into the compression position,lol.

after SO many years of being able to do nothing but one arm swings and snatches being able to tolerate new kb moves as well as use my clubs again is very exciting! I know I am going to be able to train the squat again as well soon and that will be proof positive I am back!

Stretchout and stability work
all the basic stretches 20 minutes

Alternating Superman on stability ball

right arm and leg leg only 20 reps x 3 sets followed by static full body hold 30 seconds with eyes closed

these are WAY better. I could never do 30 seconds with my eyes closed.

Amosov squats
15 reps x 3

datsit:))


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Speed Snatches and swings


I used to call it Snatch Vo2. Before it was Viking Warrior conditioning it was Max Vo2 training and I called it Snatch Vo2 instead :))
I did snatch vo2 training once a week for over three years and obtained my goal of 80 set of 8 reps with the 16kg, which is no joke.

How Mark Madsen did 80x8 with the 24 kg is a mystery to me. How anyone could be that strong and fit is amazing.

I stopped doing this months ago as my snatch form was deteriorating from too much speed work and not enough heavy, slower technique oriented training. Plus my back was so iffy I was afraid something was going to 'go'. I used to do one heavy day and max training on Wednesdays but once I dropped the heavy day it was only a matter of time before the speed work started to deteriorate.

Plus I freakin HATE training on the clock. I have a different rhythm and usually have to start slow and then build up to short rests as I warmup. When I ran I always raced negative splits which means my per mile time got faster the second half of the race than the first half.

So I loathe training on one particular interval but I got used to it and used it as a discipline. Hell, even though it sucked it was over with pretty quickly; I mean, what's forty minutes?

Now that I am training snatches in Stones Gym again on Thursdays I've been thinking of re instituting snatch vo2 back into the mix, for the cardio improvements it most certainly gives as well as a break from a constant diet of 24 kg snatches each week.

It's ironic that the snatch used to be my kb movement of choice but now that I can press again it's taken a back seat to my strongest of all lifts. But it's part of the routine and today was as good a day as any to get back in the mix, but, no gym boss yet, thank you, I'll do it free style.

SO instead of calling it Snatch Vo2 I decided to think of it as Speed Snatch day, in keeping with my speed day when I was powerlifting.The focus of max vo2 training is moving the bell fast enough, with short enough rest intervals to keep the heartate supra maximal.

I decided I would go as fast as I could during the set and rest as little as possible, though NOT watching the clock.My goal will be 50 sets of 7 or 8( the original goal) and not the 80 sets KJ decided on later. 50 is fine.

Speed Snatch
16 kg x 7 reps x 30 sets
210 reps
18 total minutes ( just a bit off 15:15)

as usual I finished faster than I started( rest interval wise) but really could have stopped at 25 sets as this is where the bell speed started to slow down. I will gauge how many sets to do each week on how long I can sustain speed and power on each rep of the set. When the bell slows down, the workout is over.

One arm swing ladder
20 kg x 5/5

24 kg x5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x8/8
x9/9
x10/10
x5/5
100 reps
5300 lbs

going to sand diego tomorrow for John Ducane's Marketing Mastermind seminar so I will miss my swing workout and wanted to get something in. this was perfect.

2o minute stretchout in the sunny 70 degree California perfection and

datsit:))


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

28 kg short cycle presses, heavy CB shield casts



Another great press workout. I wanted to get close to, or exceed my last recent short cycle press with the 28 of 50 reps but wasn't quite sure how to do it. I thought at first about doing sets 5 sets of 5 since my last workout was 4x4 and then 3x3 but my left biceps tendon was a bit upset from all the heavy grip work I've been doing of late without enough stretching to relax them enough.

So I didn't want to grind on anything and 5's would have required some grinding. Especially the last couple sets. I've been pushing hard on everything for awhile and know it's time to be carefull so I settled on sets of 3's and would decide on how many total during the workout.

I've been really focused on accelerating all my presses of late, much in the same fashion as my speed bench work in my WSB incarnation.Even with the heaviest of my loads I try to move them from point A to point B in the fastest way possible,with the shortest line possible. Literally from 10-10 with nothing interving; blowing through any possible sticking point.

WSB incorporates an absolute strength day where you try to push maximum weights as quickly as possible as well until you miss. I don't think I need or want this much tension these days, nor be as close to a true max.
I think that the last reps of a group of low rep heavy sets will suffice for that stimulation as if you push as quickly as possible on each rep( anyone say Hardstyle?) after a specific number of sets bell speed will slow down.

A definite sign you are close to the end of the workout and have had all the workload you can handle for that day.It's a motor pattern as well. Get used to moving weight fast , light or heavy and when it's heavy your brain will try to move it the same way.

Strong lifters don't try to move heavy weights slowly; heavy weights move slowly because they are heavy for you even though you are trying to move them as fast as possible. Of course, without ever breaking form or loosing root, your foundation.

As Pavel says, when 'experts' miss a lift they do it never altering form. Eccentric strength is way stronger than concentric strength and even if you can't get the lift up you have plenty of strength to control it down. If you don't panic.

It is so cool to see how well this training is working not only for me but for my Queen and her presses. She's been getting long cycle AND short cycle Pr's virtually every week and did more strict press with the 16kg with both arms than she ever has before. And you can see it in her shoulders and arms as well.

Tracy has only been doing strict military presses since last February when she trained for her RKC Re Cert in San Jose. Prior to that she did only push presses. Her base is growing and she will be pressing the 20 kg in no time. She also pushes each rep as strongly as possible and can really hold her position when it comes time to grind out the last rep. Strong to the core.It's a skill and it can be practiced.

6am -7am stretchout.Focus on overhead stretches and opening up the tight left pec and forearm.

8:30 am Short cycle clean and press
one arm swing warmup
16kg x5/5/5/5 x2
cleans warmup
16 kg x 5/5 x2

Presses
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x3/3
24 kgx2/2

28kg x3/3x8 sets
48 reps ( just shy of pr of 50 reps, perfect)

Strong! and my shoulder and biceps held up well as I really focused on packing the shoulder with the lat on each and every set and each part of the press. I could have done fives with no loss in speed for at least 4 sets but this was a good protocol as well. I go you go with Tracy, rests were short.

The wider the base, the higher the peak and we are really getting a great press foundation built. The 28 kg does indeed feel like the 24 kg did just a few months ago.

Two hand Shield Casts
10 lbs x 10/10
15 lb x8/8
20 lbs x8/8
25 lbs x 8/8

35 lbs x5/5 x 2!!!!

Ah, these were fun and the best part was the Cruiser bell didn't feel that heavy at all. This was definitely the right bell size for me to get. I'm ready for it.

Bodyblade laterals

alternate sets of 10 each arm for 6 total sets each side. I could really feel this activating the supraspinatus and medial head of the deltoid and helping the stabilize the shoulder even more.

Amosov Squats
30 reps

It's definitely time to add in some squatting motion for reps, even if they are supported.Want to work up to 100 continuous reps each workout as a finisher before going to loading the pattern with weights again. I will squat again, even better than before. I can see that now.

My knee is tracking the best it has in ages and all the weird tension and pain I've been having in the lateral hamstring, popliteus and soleus for years has disappeared! Very exciting> I feel like I might actually NOT need to have my knee replaced after all.

datsit:))



Saturday, February 05, 2011

Swing capacity

To me my overall work capacity is a direct reflection of my swing capacity. At my best I've done 600 one arm swings with the 24 kg and 400 with the 32 kg. That was including doing max vo2 work on wednesays as well as a big ass swing workout on Saturay mornings. Well, that was a long time ago it seems as today wasn't that day.

I wasn't pressing back then but that can't be the difference. The difference is I have let my swing volume slack off, for very good reasons, but the result is the same nonetheless as today's workout showed me.

Again, having a good nights sleep, good nutrition and a positive attitude seem to have little to do with me having a great workout,lol. All that occured yesterday, my knee, back and shoulders felt fine so I had no excuses other than the 15o snatches I did on Thursday took more out of me than they should have.

All in all in really wasn't a 'bad' workout but I expected more.I got to play with the 32 kg again and lots with the 28 but was surprised at how little I wanted to do more than I did with these bells,lol.

Nick didn't show so I went faster than normal but that wasn't anything. Lots of one arm swings with heavy bells is just freaking hard and I'm not ready for the load. Yet. But it showed me my decision to re position the one arm workout to Saturdays is the right one. This is the day to build the heavy volume

One Arm Swings
16 kg x5/5/ x2
20 kg x5/5 x2

24 kg x 5/5 x 5 sets( 2650)
28 kg x5/5 x 5 sets (3150)
32 kg x5/5 x 5 sets ( 3600)
28 kg x5/5 x 5 sets (3150)
200 total swings
12,550 lbs

The hardest part was my forearms, which were toasty from Thursdays. Not used to heavy( ish) snatch volume yet. My press capacity is good though,lol. Technique felt strong and I had good bell speed on all reps. My arms were just tired. I was hoping for at least 100 reps with the 32 kg but didn't feel ready to just jump up to that weight, hence the multiple sets with the lower bells.

Two hand arm casts

15 lb x8/8
25 lb x 5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x8/8
x10/10

wow. was hoping my new 35 lb clubbell would have been here for this workout but it wasnt so I tried to make up for it with a serious up hill pyramid. Given that my arms were already toast this wasn't easy at all and I skipped the 9/9 set because I didn't think I would be able to do 10/10 if I did 9/9. So I went for the last set and it was a good decision.

When I got home my new bell was there so I had to give it a test ride:


This thing is NO JOKE and I can't imagine being strong enough to much of anything with this one handed. Two hands on this beast is hard enough but I'm so glad to have my new toy!

Two Club Swipes
10's x 20
x 18
x 16

Done. My best with this move is 300 continuous reps with the 10's and 150 with the 15's. I haven't been able to do it for months because my back wouldn't tolerate it but today felt great! Perhaps I can put it back in the mix. This is a very natural and strong move for me. Would love to work up to 300 or so with the 20's ;))

30 minute stretchout

datsit :))

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Settling in to Thursdays.

It seems like it's taken me forever to get this workout day settled into place. First I couldn't decide if I wanted to do it on Wednesday or Thursdays; then I couldn't decide if it should be a snatch day or my swing day.

After realizing that trying to do serious volume alone in the garage, at the end of a long workday was not the smartest idea I decided that a snatch day would be the best decision. Then it became trying to settle in and snatch the 24 kg after that long ass day. It's been see-saw but today was solid with 100 reps with the 24kg and 50 reps with the 30 kg after the 24 kg work.

Last week was the inverse, with 100 reps with the 20 and 50 with the 24. It's been slow but it's getting there.

Nice that it was seriously warm today too, the perfect California day. about time

Snatch
16 kg x5/5 x2
20 kg x5/5 x2
24 kg x5/5 x 10 sets
20 kg x 10/10 x 2 sets

160 reps
7060 lbs


the groove felt very solid and in balance.I really concentrated on getting the bell as far back on the descent as possible and keeping a pretty fast pace since the reps were so low. On the 20 kg 10 rep sets I basically sprinted each rep. Cardio is good.

15 minutes of sun time and datsit:)) Heavy one arm swings and clubs as well ( my 35 lber is supposed to arrive today!) on Saturday.

Edit; I think I will be alternating 24 kg snatch days focused on total volume, with max vo2 workouts ramping up total sets to 50 ( the original goal point). I will balance them with the long cycle and short cycle clean and press days; on long cycle weeks I will do heavy snatch and on short cycle weeks max vo2

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Smiling through the set.


Everyone who knows me knows I'm very, very, very patient. Some say stubborn and that's true as well but I am willing to work and wait and work some more to get what I want.Nothing empowers me more than knowing I can get where I need to go by my own will and discipline and work.

Control is such a nice feeling and so hard to find. There is SO little any of us actually have control over that when we experience some semblance of it it is very gratifying indeed. I used to think I had control over my body; at least I felt so for a very long time( injuries included) but the last 8 years or so I thought that it had all been lost.

That desire and passion, patience and spirit were not enough to push back the accidents, injuries and sheer stupidity I had experienced and put my physical being through. Two years ago I thought I was seriously back on track but it took almost another 16 months before I really realized that I am back on track.

I am in less pain than I have been in eight years and can do more now physically than in the last fifteen. I finally figured out how to walk again with almost no pain, I can press overhead with no pain, I can swing and deadlift with no pain and my strength, lean muscle and work capacity are the best they have in the last 10 years as well.

I'm going to be 54 years old March 1 and I can easily say I feel better and could do more than I did at 44. That's cool. But it's been a slog, that's for sure. But I don't have much quit in me and as I've said forever, you may outlift me now but I will outlast you. No brag, just fact.

I have always had faith that my methods(based on Chek and Janda), that I outlined in my dvd "Restoring lost physical function" were correct and would work, I just honestly didn't think it would take this long, lol. Especially with the onslaught of Z Health and FMS my techniques were ( are) looked at as passe' and oversimple. Oh well, they work. At least for me and to me that's the most important.

For, as they say on the plane, "put your mask on before you put on your childs". If I can't fix myself I can't help anyone else.

This came all crashing onto me( in the best way possible) today when I was getting ready for my last set of long cycle clean and presses and I heard Disturbed's " down with the sickness" come over the speakers. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up like they used to before a big set and I KNEW, just knew without a doubt, that not only would I make this set but that it would be easy, strong, effortless.

A Pr and it would be the easiest set of the day.As it should be when the Gods are smiling.

As I was as I set up and then , throughout the whole set, as each rep was easier than the last and I could feel it. I was just where I wanted to be, where I live to be; in the zone; where it's not about just surviving the set, it's about playing with it.

When it's not about " ok, I hope I don't get hurt" , but, OK, lets play, lets rock.
And it's happening more often all the time now. And I love it. I don't want it, I just need it :)

Workouts are building on workouts, as they should. Rest is restoring, as it should. Abilities are accumulating, food is healing. My mind is strengthening and the vision is becoming clear again. Never too late.Not too late. Just in time.

here's the workout

6-7 am stretchout
the usual suspects with emphasis on overhead stretches and t spine mobility

8:30 am
one arm swing 16 kg x5/5/5/5x3

Long Cycle Clean and Press
16 kg x5/5

24kg x5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x8/8
x9/9
x10/10
90 presses total/ Pr.

I've done 3 sets of 10/10 with the long cycle clean and press but never close to this.I knew things were right when I made the jump from 16 kg right to 24 kg, always a good sign. If you want to lift heavy top weights at some point you have to make big jumps and this one was no problem.


Two Hand Swipes

20 lbs x5/5
25 lbs x 8/8
x9/9
x10/10

these rocked and I can't wait to get my Cruiser 35 lb club.

Bodyblade laterals

5 minutes straight alternating arms every 10 reps. These kill! and such a perfect finisher for my delts.

this was about the best workout I've had in eons.I so love this long cycle combo. I was scheduled to do short cycle today but craved the long cycle. Not getting enough swings in this weekend didn't help.

Next week sets of 5 with the 28 kg!

datsit:))