Saturday, June 30, 2012

These are the workouts that count.

The ones you DON'T want to do. I was feeling pretty beat up the last two day; nothing serious just the result of a lot of good training and a lot of hours at work. I thought I might sidestep the DOMS by training the day after Snatch VO2 but it didn't seem to work this week.

I think the increased volume of adding long cycle to the presses  was part of it.Again, not injured but fatigued. Slept well, ate well stretched out early and was mentally ready but things felt 'off' and I have learned, the VERY hard way, to listen to that voice.

My back was especially wonky, for the first time in forever after the two kb bent rows in addition to everything else. A bit antalgic so worked hard on psoas, opening the front panel and rectus on right side. Melt that fuzz, lol.

Neck, shoulders and traps were super tight too so lots of lacrosse ball work as well as laying across the rumble roller on cervicals.

Warmups felt heavy:))

16 kg x 5/5/5 x 3

16 kg x5/5
         x 3/3
20 kg x 5/5 x 2
24 kg x 5/5/ x 8 sets
80 reps
4240 lbs

I really didn't know if I would even snatch the 24 today,things felt so off at the start. It just took me a bit to warmup and then I actually felt VERY strong. So strange to feel tired and strong at the same. I knew I didn't want to do too many reps, the last two weeks have both been recent pr's in volume and I have to do 50 sets of Snatch Vo2 on Tuesday as well. Good choices
Nick decided to go heavy today and did two sets of 5/5 with the 40kg
No problem when what is "heavy" to you starts at 500 lbs :)) 88 is just another weight.

Power Swings

These seemed like a good idea given my overall fatigue but I didn't think I would do a PR on it today.

28 kg x5
32 kg x5
36 kg x 5
40 kg x 5
40 kg x 5 ( pr)

These felt better than ever and I am so very happy I get to train this wonderful movement finally. Such a feeling of strength,stability and power all in one so basic exercise!

Capt America Arm Casts
25 CB x 10
35 x 10 x 2 sets

this felt hard, lol and probably should have stayed with the 25 lber but Nick and Glenn were killing it so my ego got the best of me. Not that bad, really.

Now to rest up and get ready for Tuesdays 50 sets.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

24kg Long Cycle Clean and Press : fives.

I almost don't want to write this down in fear of jinxing it but I think my left side press is back AND my right side hasn't disappeared either! It could be a first.The left shoulder has been staying in place,mostly, through the night and the day  even after yesterday's snatching it was ready to go for presses today.
Although I was seriously beat
Seven clients back to back and the fatigue from yesterday starting to creep in I was just not that strong today but I got through the whole workout with NO CLUNKS AND I got fives on the left side press for the first time in months. Nice.
I thought that long cycle might make it better and it seemed to. I didn't pause between the clean and the press as I wanted to see how it would work at all first and then make it more strict.

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5/5 x 3

Long cycle C /P
16 kg x 5/5
         x 3/3
20 kg x 4/4
24 kg x3/3
         x 4/4
         x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5 x 2!!!!

yes!  it was SO much FUN to do these again.and the groove felt right and very strong.

two kb rows
16 kg x 10 x 4 sets

these were harder than they should have been. I had thoughts of double 20 kgs but this was more than enough for day one.

Floor kb ext
20kg x 8 x 4 sets

ok, stick a fork in me, I'm done. FOOD.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Snatch VO2 35x7 11 x8

Not a bad workout at all. Came in pretty solid from the weekend and got a full hour stretchout at 6 am today. Back on track with my flexibility and mobility work and things are better because of it right away.

"Get on the Ground!" is my new motto, as it has been before and must be again. Get off the ball and the chair and get on the floor. Anything I do on the floor is good for me,even just sitting. Being full time in the VFF is really paying off everyday in so many ways; from foot and toe mobility and strength to better ankle mobility and mechanics and working it's way upstream to my knee, hip, back and, most important Gait.

I am walking much better as my feet and ankles work better and it's SO nice to feel like I don't have to think about every freakin step I take every day.Some  moments it's actually pain free and easy, lol.

What a concept.

We had 45 sets on the menu today and I wanted  10 sets of 8 if my shoulder and form held together.

It did. But I still can't count for shit.Even with a mechanical counter :))

Snatch Vo2
16 kg 
I go you go with Glenn
35 sets of 7 ( 245)
11 sets of 8 (88)
46 sets
333 sets

I SO like going I go you go as opposed to on that stinking clock.this is more natural and it allows me to go at the right pace for my form. I might get back to the gymboss but maybe not. I know we are a few seconds off on pace but I also know that I snatch at 8 reps per 15 sec even when I'm doing sevens and tend to hold the last rep a bit.

You also have to count pick up and set down time for the kb too. The main thing is being able to fit the actual 8 reps into the 15 sec window

But we miscounted and its 46 sets on the video so that's icing on the cake,lol. Technique held pretty well although it took me 10 sets or so to remember to really reach for the ground to lock out the elbow on the left arm. Once I did that the shoulder felt way more stable and then it was just about trying to breathe :))

Hip belt squats
24 kg x 12
32 kg x12 x 4 sets

THESE ROCK! It feels great to be able to squat with weight again and this is excellent. I am in the mirror so I can make sure I am square and using the left side equally. I can use the rack for balance and really concentrate on going as low as I can.

I also think part of the reason my legs feel better lately is stronger quads to balance out all the hamstring work I get with snatches and swings.

Floor Handstands
4 sets of 10 seconds

these were on and easy today. Hey consistent practice makes you better . Who'd of thunk that?

Military presses tomorrow. :))


Saturday, June 23, 2012

24 kg Snatch ladders, 2 hand Swings and heavy clubs

Well I think I might have done the impossible and pushed my left shoulder back into place without knocking somthing else 'out' in the process :)) Usually I can 'fix' one part of my old frame but when I do it's inevitable, it seems, that something else gets  moved out of neutral as a result.

This has been going on forever, always with the goal of making myself as symmetrical as possible; chasing 'square, plumb and neutral'. But it seemed a very elusive goal. To wit, my right shoulder was 'out' for years, and my left was my solid, stable one. My 'demo' arm, if you will.

Then, almost as soon as the right side settled down, the left side started giving me grief. But now, finally it seems that I am as close to neutral everywhere as I ever have been!

It was so much easier today snatching on my left not so worried that I could sublux on any rep and that my overhead position was just not solid. Didn't have to do ANY band distractions to put it back in OR my hand,wrist, forearm stretch to get things to stop spasming. Nice.

As I wrote about last week I changed the groove on the left side and it's working great. A key element here is thinking of 'reaching for the floor' as I pass through the bottom position to make sure my elbow locks out as  much as possible. Not locking it out is at the root of a lot of the shoulder issue. Just like my knee my elbow is not usually fully locked out( with this because of my arm carry angle and the need to swing the kb midline and NOT a bad joint) and the flexors get too tight and put too much pressure on the elbow, and then, upstream into the shoulder.

Relieve THAT pressure and the shoulder behaves.

6:30-7:30 AM

full stretchout. taking this MUCH more seriously lately too and can really feel the difference in my whole body
8 am

one arm swing warmup 16 kg  x5/5/5 x 3

16 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 6/6
         x8/8 x 3 rounds
126 reps
6678 lbs

nice. Both sides technique held up well. lean, bend and reach on the right and lay back THEN lean bend and reach DOWN on the left. It's crazy but it works and that's what counts. I spent a LOT of time staying really focused on each segment of the rep to make sure it was  just what I wanted. The 8's were no problem and the volume is getting there too.

Two  hand swings
32 kg x 10 x 7 sets
70 reps
5110. lbs

strong here too. Been pushing the weights up here a lot lately and just wanted to use a medium heavy bell and make sure the power and acceleration hasn't suffered . This is a perfect weight for me for both aspects. Heavy enough to challenge me but light enough to move fast.

I haven't forgotten how much a gift it is that I can even do these at all regularly much less with decent weight. It's been a long time coming but I don't quit:))

Two hand CB Shield casts
25 lbs x 10/10
35 lbs  10/10 x2 pr!

this is great. it felt strong today  and I've never done two sets of 10 with this and they have never been this easy.

Also, been living almost exclusively in my VFFs and I know that's making a tremendous difference in my foot, ankle and knee mechanics and overall mobility and stability and that is helping my gait tremendously.I'm standing much differently on my feet as well now too. it's very good.A hint of lower body balance :))


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

24 kg presses, singles and doubles.

Actually got the workout in today, just one day after snatch vo2, as planned. I do think hitting it today versus letting the DOMS fully set in tomorrow is a better idea, all around. Not as sore as I will be and it loosens me up more for tomorrow and friday.

Still playing with technique of really shifting the hip under the bell as I press it but today experimented with actually stepping forward a bit, like Pavel has it stance in this pic from the cover of ETK

It worked extremely well and I easy got  6 sets of presses with almost no shoulder instability. Even a solid set of 4 reps which I could have done five. My right arm feels like I could press with it all day. Don't want to test it. It's my only good side now :))

one arm swing warmup: 16 kg x 5/5 x 3( tops of forearms surprisingly sore from yesterday)

Mil Press
16 kg x 3/3
20 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 2/2 x3 sets
         x 3/3 x 2 sets
         x 4//4 x 1 sets

No problem! It will take even more getting used to but there is definitely a groove where the shoulder is very happy. Not a wide groove but it exists! That's all I need; one path. It's enough. I also have to really engage the lat to make everything stable. It's got to be JUST right but it's there.

Double kb press
2 16s x 3
2 20s x 3
2 24s x 3 x 4 sets

I guess we were in the mood to press today.On this I tried to do the same basic thing with my pelvis; really push it forward by tightening glutes to create a platform( Glenn) for my elbows to stay under( kind of a bastard of Hardstyle and GS positions)

I can see in the video that my left elbow flares out much sooner than my right so I have to fight that even more. I also have to keep the bells in even closer. the lockout position reminds me of my handstand

One KB row
32 kg x 5/5 x 4 sets

Man this was heavy! Need to recycle this now.

Floor kb extensions
16 kg x 10 x 4 sets

Glenn used the 24 kg but my arms were shot. this was the perfect weight.

at least I am going in the right direction with my presses, they, and the shoulder stability is getting better, not worse which is all I care about: direction, not speed of improvement.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Snatch Vo2 35 sets of 7, 5 sets of 8

Man it's like back in the old days, 90 degree heat in the Courage Corner and lots of sets of snatch vo2 to do.
There would be sweat. I was hoping there would not be blood.
 I was seriously sore from Saturdays training,in weird places which always worries me but I spent plenty of time on the floor for a change the last two days ironing them out, and by the time it came to train I was ready.
ANd so was Glenn,he's getting used to this diabolically form of met con torture and that helps.

My main concern was getting my form down on my left side, which differs from my right. Not much but just enough so that if I don't do it right my shoulder is not as stable.  So I did it right:))

This means laying back a bit more before the drop, keeping the arm closer to the ribs and breaking later. Minor details but the devil is in the details it is said.

Worked great and relieved of the worry of what would happen with my shoulder each set I could really get into the workout in a way I haven't in a long time.

One arm swing warmup
16kg x5/5 x3

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
I go you go (15:15)
7 reps per arm
35 sets of 7
5 sets of 8
285 reps
10,260 lbs

solid work! I truly associated the whole time and focused on technique each and every rep,especially on left. 50 sets next week, time to step this up before I go travelling again.

Hip Belt Squats with KB
16 kg x10
24 kg x 10 x 3 sets
         x 12 x 1 set

thought this would work and it did! Just strapped the kb to the IronMind hip belt , held onto the power rack and squatted! it worked well. Medium stance, toes forward and hips back as I descended. We'll see what fall off tomorrow but the knee said yes today. As well as the quad! Nice.

When I did this exercise in the past I gave up on it because I couldn't figure a way to get enough weight on the belt AND get deep. Not a problem now. This TOTALLY takes the lower back out of the squat and puts all the load on the quads and hips. Take out the balance component with the hands on the rack and it might be just what I need to regrow some left quad muscle!

Even when I was doing a complete wide stance, low bar, knee wrapped, suit bottom power squat I had way more leg size than I do now and my knee is not much better. My back yes, but not my legs. time to change that. Perhaps this is it.:))

Handstands against wall 
5 sets of 10 seconds

much better this week. basically a tap off into a free HS hold. much less stress on the wrist and forearms this way. I can only go into free kick ups after I've really built my base back up on these.

KB Presses tomorrow!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Snatch 5s

Missing last weeks snatch workout made todays' 24 kg work that much heavier, lol. Amazing how fleeting strength can be. I could do it, but it didn't feel easy. That's why I went to default five rep workout, my foundation, my base training. The number that always seems doable and strong.

Doing sets of 5/5, while easy cardiovascularly, is definitely not EASY, especially when done for multiple high sets. It just catches up with you after awhile, and, as Tracy says, it's harder to put it down and pick the bell up a lot than it is to just keep going.

That would be true for this weight except there isn't that much option to 'just keep going' ,lol. Perhaps double the reps but that's about all I want to do.

Left shoulder has been great all week and then it went out a bit this morning, moving a box around in the bathroom,lol. It was ok but it wasn't really sitting perfectly and my left side felt more tentative than it has in 2 weeks. No worries, it's right now. Just have to really spend the time stretching out the elbow flexors and it sets. but really? a stinking light box?

full rifga stretchout. have to get back to taking this more seriously again. Going in the right direction this week

8 am Snatch
16 kg x5/5 x2
20 kg x4/4
24 kg x 5/5 x 10 sets
         x5/5/5/5 x 1 sets
120 reps
6380 lbs

Definitely was some work. above video was from set five. Didn't really get 'warmed up and in my groove til set 8:))

Two hand swings
28kg x10
32 kg x10
36 kg x10
40 kg x10 x 2 sets

Glenn playing with the Bulldog. He really has found his lift here and says it reminds him of squatting! I feel the same way and it's so gratifying to watch him get stronger each week on this of so basic of all the kb swings and to be able to train it myself! finally!

Two hand CB Shield cast
25 lbs  x10/10 x 4 sets

these were the perfect ending. The 35lb'er was not on the menu today. Smart move.Bodyfat is way down and weight was 159 this am. Pretty happy with both right now.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

28 kg Press!

About time. It's been over a year since I've pressed the 28's it seems! Crazy it's been that long but my left shoulder has gotten progressively worse since then. It's basically subluxed; when you have super lax joint structures and tight and unevenly tight muscles that pull hard on the loose joints, things move. A lot.

But I am SISU and Never Quit and it seems the shoulder is back where it should be and hasn't pushed anything else out as it went in. We'll see but today was solid. That along with my knew position to press fun and it was a strong workout despite being a day late, late in the day ( for me) and after a tough work day.

Glenn kicked ass too and did 5's with the 32 no problem on his last set and killed the 36 after that! crazy strong position

This is video from my strongest press with the 28's last April

If the shoulder would stay put that would be no issue. I did 5 on my right on the 5th set easybreezy :))

KB press
one arm swing warmup: 16 kg x5/5/5 x 3

16 kg x5/5
20 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 2/1
28 kg x 1L/2 R x 4
         x 1+ miss on L/2 on right; miss judged hip position and shoulder moved on second rep.Ack/
         x 1L/5 R :)) couldn't resist
20 kg x 3/3

Needed some practice with my hip position but the key seems to be not just pushing it out to the side but forward at a 45 degree angle. It doesn't look that big an angle on the video but that has to be my thought or else I don't get the right support under my shoulder

Just like my bench press; if I wasn't in the perfect position FOR ME, then it wouldn't go. If I was I had leverage and then it was about strength, not joints.

I felt like I could have pressed all day with the right, just lats and triceps and NO shoulder pain or restriction.

One KB row
28 kg x 10/10 x 3 sets
         x 8/8

these are getting very strong very fast!

Floor KB extensions/ dead stop
20 kg x8 x 4 sets

definitely much stronger on these with no shoulder issues!

Feel way better at the end than at the start!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back to normal. Snatch Vo2 35 sets of 7

It's weird how not training does NOT make me feel better. Not looser or more mobile, more recovered or have more energy. Just the opposite. And standing for 10-12 hours on hard surfaces hurts my knee and back way more than walking on them.

Actually, that's a pretty cool thing to be able to write,that it's finally easier for me to walk than stand.Progress indeed. Slow, for sure, but totally in the right direction. And to me that's all that counts.

And missing even one workout makes me lazier right away. I didn't want to do this workout today but I KNEW I would feel immensely better as soon as I had. And I did.

I also knew that I had to start back slowly today as my body felt extra 'weird', extra 'all over the place' structurally.

But I got a full hours stretchout this morning from 6-7 which helped a lot and made sure to do a lot of bodyweight hinges today throughout the morning as this really 're sets' my body.Air swings rock! Plus, I wanted to make sure I didn't lose my swing/snatch groove.

Snatch Vo2
"I go you go" style with Glenn
16 kg
35 sets of 7
245 reps
8,820 lbs
20 minutes

Just a wee bit slower than 15:15 but I don't care. I get in trouble when I try to go too fast too early in a cycle and this was better. I did my seven reps as fast as i could while STILL really focusing on all the important cues for me: lean,bend, pop, pull.

If I lean as I descend in the swing or snatch I sit back, then to load my glutes and not just my hamstrings I have to think 'bend the knees" and my hips load. Then pop the hips and the bell floats THEN pull it in with the upper back. Then the effortless punch through.

Franz Snideman Sr RKC made a great observation at this weekend's Re Cert in San Diego that a caandidate was 'swinging on her hamstrings and not her glutes' as she had no knee bend in the hinge. That NAILS it. One can swing or snatch stiff legged just fine, but the power source will be the back and hammies and not the glutes and all the others in the posterior chain. Just a little knee bend is enough. I think of it as "shock absorbing" the load.

Wall Sit
bodyweight x 30 sec
2 8 kgs x 30 sec x 3 sets

Trying this to find a quad exercise to build up my weak left quad and not tweak my knee a well as  help de load the hamstrings from all this swing snatch work. We'll see tomorrow.

Floor handstand with spot
5 sets of 5-6 seconds

Rough! wow haven't done these in 3 weeks or so and I can really  tell. Totally lost on timing but came back better by the last set.

Feel normal again.:))


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Finding Leverage

This is a picture of me pressing a 24 kg bell in 2005, about the time I got my RKC. I tried to copy the picture I saw of Pavel on the front of the classic book the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. Hip out, vertical forearm, looking at the bell as you pressed.
 This position made sense to me, much like the vertical arm I used to use when I bench pressed. I always knew when I was doing it wrong and not pressing from my whole  body  but my shoulders and pecs because my shoulders screamed!  They would not tolerate an isolation press and this is what I've been feeling while searching for my groove on the kb military press

The KB military is NOT a  'shoulder' press but a full body lift. having the hip under the bell is what makes it this whole body lift;otherwise the bell is literally 'hanging off nothing' as you press it. I have been searching for a technique that wouldn't make my delicate left shoulder rattle around as I pressed and then I saw Michael David DPT do this:

and realized what was missing in my press; getting my hip UNDER the weight as I used to. Michale has a pretty pronounced rotation in the transverse plane but he is NOT side pressing. There is NO bending in the frontal plane, which is what makes a side press a side press.

Yet he is clearly rotating almost as if he were starting a bent press or a windmill; his hip is definitely getting under the weight early. I played around with this idea last night with no weight, just the movement and I KNEW it felt right.

Especially because my shoulder subluxed sometime yesterday afternoon and it was forward and achy. I only got about 4 hours sleep because it woke me up at midnight and yelled at me to try to release some of the jacked up tissues, which I did , but I still got very little sleep.

SO today's workout, a press day no less, after yesterdays volume and no sleep was in doubt. But I wanted to try out this technique so I thought I would go in and play a bit and see what happened. What happened was a wonderful epiphany about my press, my shoulder issues and the importance of real leverage.
Here's the video my set with the 20 kg

I was VERY happy with this as I went through the entire workout, short cycle no less with just one minor 'clunk' and that was when I DIDN'T kick my hip out enough!

I experimented with starting with my hips square to the front and then moving into the hip out position, ala Michael, but settled on holding it out as I pressed.

And it was short cycle which is usually much more destabilizing, mainly because I wasn't in a stable rack position! Go figure.

here's the workout:

One arm swing 16 kg x  5/5/5 x 3 ( very good, left shoulder felt stable right away)

KB Press
12 kg x 5/5
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5 x 3
24 kg x 5/5 x 2

these felt amazing and they did for Glenn too; he pressed the 32 kg for doubles effortlessly and felt the same thing I did, increased leverage and decreased shoulder involvement. Actually less FRONT shoulder involvement but MORE lateral delt. Perfect!
 It was easier to keep the forearm vertical, the shoulder packed and the lat engaged. AND the bell always felt like it was in a good leverage position. CRAZY! Good

I wanted to keep going, to keep playing with it, but knew better. It was crazy, actually, do even TRY to press today, after all the pain last night. But I also knew that if I got into the right position, and moved correctly, things would feel better, not worse, as they usually do when I do things right. That my body likes.

It always tells me I just have to listen :))

One KB rows
24 kg  x8/8 x 4 sets

db kickbacks
2 12 lb x 12 x 4 sets

nice!  Now I get two full days to rest( and sleep) mobilize and get ready for a great day of kb instruction in La Jolla!


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Snatch Vo2 , taper week.

gotta stay calm

Took this workout as a taper week workout, as I'm am supposed to do, right before a cert. We go down to San Diego Friday to do an RKC Re Cert at Revolution La Jolla with Franz Snideman and Yoanna. Have to be fresh as it's a long day teaching and demo'ing and a long weekend as well.

So that meant 40 sets of 7 only and no 8's. No problem. But I felt creaky and a bit asymmetrical and knew it was good to be stepping back.We've been killing it and it's great but I'm feeling it too.High speed, high intensity and high volume work, regardless of the light weights, can really add up.Especially week after week. Especially where you're old :))


Snatch Vo2
16 kg
40 sets of 7
280 reps
10,080 lbs

These went well , HR was around 160-165 and respiration was not that bad.My as I said, I felt creaky.

Two CB swipes
15 lbs x 10 x 5 sets

tired, just got these done.

Triceps extensions, bands
4 sets of 20-15

Clean and press day tomorrow. We'll see if this day early schedule will work.


Saturday, June 02, 2012

Top of the peak.

All three of us showed up today pretty tired. Feeling strong but just not peppy. A sure sign we are ending this part of the up cycle and need to back off a bit; both in intensity and volume.

Perfect timing for me as I have a re cert next Saturday and should take this week lighter, as  usual before a  cert.I thought that the two days between workout( wed instead of thur) would result in more recovery but it didn't.

I don't know if it's because we've peaked or it didn't help and double up on DOMS instead of bypassing it :))

Either way it was a solid but cautious workout as everything felt 'creaky'. Nothing out but just tired.

one arm swing warmup: 16kg x 5/5/5 x 3
16 kg x 5/5, 3/3
20 kg x4/4

24 kg x5/5
         x 7/7
         x10/10 x 3 sets!
         x 7/7
 108 reps
5724 lbs

wanted 110 or 115 but thought better of doing another set of 10/10 as my gut said no. So I listened. My concentration wasn't perfect  and while it was great not to be scared of the weight and the workload  and just treat it like a work weight instead of a max weight I also didn't want to dis respect it ,either.
nice to get three sets of 10/10 too. One of my goals is to get my 100 snatches each week with 5 sets of 10/10. That should be my floor , my baseline from which I can peak. It's coming :))

Two hand swing
28 x 10
32 x10
36 x10
40 x10
44 x10

Easy! This was the heaviest two hand swing I've done in months so that was nice. I had planned on 5 reps, just to touch the weight but it was so strong I continued. That's what was strange, I felt strong but tired at the same time :))

Two hand arm casts
25 x 5/5
35 x5/5

these felt strong too but I was done