Monday, December 31, 2007

Mon, New Years Eve SNATCHES

DAMN! That pretty much sums up today's session. I smoked myself this morning working on my Snatches. Following last week's first RKC Test-Style session, where I was able to perform 30 consecutive snatches with the 24kg, and also enjoying a tapering week since then, I came out of the gate today hungry to start bringing my training up to a new level.

With the helpful suggestions of my kb brethren (thank you all for your support and encouragement, you know who you are), I increased the volume of my snatches today. Last week after performing my set of 30 I called it a day. Not today. But first, let's start at the beginning....

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 20, 24kg - 10, 32kg - 10

Windmills: 16kg - 5/5m 24kg - 3/3

Snatches: 24kg - 17/17

Man, I haven't hit this kind of intensity since training on the Ergs in college. Lungs burning, giving it everything you got. And that was all in the first set! It was tough! The following sets were all easy compared to the first. I liked tapering down because it allowed me to feel strong again in those later sets, without over stressing the respiratory system. I do know one thing for sure, I am going to be feeling this tomorrow. Great way to start the New Year! Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fri, 12/28 - Playing with the 32kg

Still keeping the intensity low for the remainder of this week. On Monday, I ramp things back up. And like a good taper week, I am itching to start pushing myself again. I guess this physical/psychological tapering is working. I am feeling good physically - I started directing more attention to my forearm extensors, stretching them, doing some Z-Health elbow work and the tightness/pain in my biceps is starting to improve (hence the light Clean & Presses today), and mentally I ready to kick things up a notch. So today's session included...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 30, 24kg - 10

Clean & Presses: 16kg - 3/3, 5/5, 5/5

Pistols: 8kg - 1/1

(Noticed some tightness again in the left shin. I am convinced that it is shin splints since I increased the weight of my swings on Wed introducing the 32kg. Going to introduce some of the stretches in Relax Into Stretch to see if that helps. There is one specifically for shins I recall.)

Swings: 32kg
6 2-Hand, 2 L, 2 R (10 reps total)
10 2-Hand
5 L, 5 R
10 2-Hand
10 2-Hand

I experimented a bit today with the 32kg. Wanted to get my first taste of swinging it with one arm, so I mixed it up a bit keeping the total number of reps in my target range for today. The Swings feel good and strong.

Now that I have a 16kg, a 24kg and a 32kg bell, along with an interval timer things are going to get good. 2008 is going to rock!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wed, 12/26 - Swings

I had decided that I would taper back a bit this week to give my body a chance to rest and recuperate. At the same time I was itching to Swing my new 32kg bell. So I took a look at the total volume of Swings that I performed last Wednesday (weight x total reps) and multiplied by 70% to come up with a target volume for today. So even though the weight of the kb went up, total volume is reduced. Now I realize that there is probably some non-linearity involved with a new weight being introduced, but close enough! So after all of the graduate school mathematics was over, here's my reduced intensity session for the day...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 30
Halos: 16kg - 4/4
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 4/4

2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 10 for 5 sets

And yes, overall at the end of it, it does feel like a lighter workout!

As a follow-up from yesterday's Overhead KB Walks, shoulders felt fine today, lower back was just a little tight upon waking my felt fine after warming up. Will try next time with the 24kg.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day, 12/25 - Take Your Kettlebell For A Walk

I guess I've been a good boy this past year because Santa brought me some cool new toys to play with this year.

Under the tree this morning I found:

(1) Pavel's Relax Into Stretch book
(2) Gymboss Interval Timer
(3) 32kg Kettlebell

oh yeah and (4) a LOT of Lindt chocolate(!)

Very cool!

I can also say that I've messed around with all of them already. A few 2-handed swings with the 32kg felt surprisingly easy. I was expecting much worse. I am looking forward to using it tomorrow for my Swings Day.

To keep things moving today, and since it was pretty warm outside with a lot of the snow and ice melted, I took my 16kg out for a walk. At the suggestion of Taikei, I walked with the kb in the overhead position up and down the block just a bit. Only two house lengths which I'm estimating to be about 90 feet or so in each direction (the 40 foot ranch is a common house on this block each with driveway).

I walked one way with the kb overhead on the left side, turned around, switched arms and walked back. Did this 3 times. I could definitely feel bones moving around a bit in the shoulder blade area, but no problems. I'll wait till the morning to see if there are any after effects. But this too I thought was pretty easy. Next time I'll try it with the 24kg bell.

So a good day!! Hope you all had yourselves a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mon, Christmas Eve - Snatches

Today was my first planned RKC Snatch Test outing. I planned to do this today, two maybe three weeks ago. I figured I would peak today with the test then taper off for the rest of the week, before starting up again in the new year.

I admit I made myself pretty nervous about today. I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself as it was only my first attempt, and I know I wouldn't be able to hit 52 needed to pass the real RKC test, and I kept telling myself that the whole point of this was to give myself a baseline to work from, but regardless I was nervous.

So anyway, to cut to the point... I completed 30!

Warmed up with...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 30, 24kg - 10

Then went right into the test...

Snatches: 24kg - 15/15

Started out on the left side. The first 15 were surprisingly easier than I expected. The second half was another story. I definitely felt constrained from wind and not from strength. I guess that's telling me that I should start stretching out my sets to some higher reps as I have been doing sets of 5/5.

I am very happy with today's result. I knew I'd be able to do twenty, thirty I thought was possible but would be a stretch. Well I stretched it! Maybe 52 isn't impossible after all... hahaha. Nice Christmas present to myself.

Thanks for stopping by. And have yourself a very Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,
I know I have been getting very excited and asking for a new 32kg kettlebell this year. Well, I will admit that a 32kg bk would be a lot of fun to play with in the coming year, but there is something that I want even more.
For Christmas this year, all I ask is for my little boy Anthony's health to continue improve and for 2008 to require less hospital stays than this past year. As you know, Anthony was born with a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis and from this condition, he has tumors in his brain, his heart and his eyes.
Most pressing now are the brain tumors which cause him to have epilepsy. The constant seizures have caused a major delay in his cognitive development and he needed to be admitted to the hospital 7 times this past year for extended stays requiring video EEG monitoring. At twenty-months old now, Anthony continues to progress, having 8 therapy sessions each week which include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and special education. The combination of medications that he is on now are working well at controlling his seizures. Please let this continue as long as possible.
Tuberous sclerosis is a devastating genetic disorder. As difficult as it gets at times, we realize that we are actually quite lucky as some families have lost their children to this condition. To help raise awareness and potentially find a cure, I have set up a fundraising page in Anthony's name. If you or anyone you know would like to make a donation, no matter how small, it would be most appreciated. Anthony's page can be found at:
Thank Santa and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fri, 12/21 - High Pulls

Oh what a week it's been. Work has been crazy intense. Working late just about every night. I guess you can blame the holidays for that. Try to get everything done now, so we can take next week off. It's been tough. I haven't been getting enough sleep the past few nights. Put in a 15 hour day on Wed. Eating isn't optimal. That's why I skipped my Variety Day Thursday. But today's session is a MUST session. So regardless of the circumstances, I had to get up early today.

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40, 24kg - 10

Windmill: 16kg - 3/3, 24kg - 2/2

Clean & Press: 16kg - 3/3

High Pulls: 24kg - 5/5 for 7 sets

Now last week I performed 8 sets of High Pulls. But today, on my 7th (last) set I felt my form breaking down on the left side and then felt some 'clicking' in my shoulder when I worked the right side. Now I have become a proponent of telling people not to let their egos interfere with good training principles. So today, as much as I wanted to do more than 8 sets, I bit the bullet and stopped where I was.

Today is my last day in the office until after New Year's. So I will be trying to get a bit more sleep in the coming week, as well as get some R&R. Oh, but only after Monday's RKC-style Snatch session. On Monday I get to push myself - need to get a baseline on consecutive Snatches. 2008 is upon us! And with that, RKC can expect me. =)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wed, 12/19 - Swings

... and other things.

Felt good waking up today. A little tired maybe. This is going to be a rough week at work. Rest of the week looks to be filled with late nights. If anything, I can now just focus on getting my Friday workout in and be happy because next week I'm off! (Well, technically there will be some things I'll have to tend to, but that's what laptops are for, so I won't have to go into the office).

Anyhow, back to the fun stuff. Here's my Wed, Swing-Focused session...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40, 24kg - 20

Getups: 16kg - 5/5

Pistols: 8kg - 3/3, 3/3

1-Hand Swings: 24kg - 10/10 for 5 sets

The Pistols are feeling good again! No pain in the left shin. It's gone as mysteriously as it came. Hopefully everything I'm doing now will keep it from showing up again. Very cool. Next week I'll bump up the weight a bit and see how it feels. Slow and steady.

Notched up an additional set on the 1-Hand Swings. Rep for rep, I'm in line with my Snatches, although these are giving me a chance to work through longer continuous sets. This seems to be working for me. That's all folks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TueZday, 12/18 - Z-Day

Just some Z-Health drills this morning. Woke up, immediately noticed traps were a bit sore from yesterday's Snatches. But that's all that got my attention as I tip toed out of bed this morning.

Over the weekend, I watched and read through two additional sections of the Z-Health R-Phase manual - Hips and Elbows. I've definitely been taking my time with this. I've sort of started around my core and am radiating outward in each direction as I continue to add the pieces together.

The most difficult area for me (so far) is the Thoracic. I think maybe its just a tough spot to develop isolated movement, even though its only supposed to be a very limited range of motion. But nonetheless I will keep working it.

I love the way the shoulder scapula movement feels. The neck has definitely improved from when I first started, but still has a ways to go. Particularly with the tilt & lateral slides.

My next biggest challenge is to figure out what the deal is with my right bicep/forearm. It continues to exhibit this "overuse" injury (as my previous physical therapist termed it). I'm thinking it might be the biceps tendon that is strained. First popped up a few years ago, when I started doing a lot of pullups. I think I might have increased the volume too quickly and developed this strain. Over the years now, if I had curled too heavy it would rear its ugly head. Although when I was doing pullups at the gym, the pullup station had angled handles that allowed me to perform higher rep sets without pain. Once I started doing them at home on a straight bar (while also performing Clean & Presses) the pain re-appeared. Even while in physical therapy we couldn't get the pain to go away. It took a long time of non-use to do that. Definitely not optimal.

Always something to work on, something to improve.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mon, 12/17 - Snatches!!

Turns out the only type of exercise I performed over the weekend was some snowblowing and shoveling. We got some more snow Saturday into Sunday, so I was outside yesterday clearing it away. I did wake up this morning with my back a bit tight from it. And with today being my Snatch day, my first thoughts were "better warm up well".

Although I am not one who can remember what he dreams about during the night, I do recall that Snatches were a running theme in my dreams last night. I guess it's just the nervous anxiety of Snatch Day. I've been making awesome progress in the last few weeks and I had been hoping to continue to see that this morning.

So here is the result of this past week's work....

2-Hand Swings:
16kg - 30
24kg - 10

16kg - 5/5 for one set
24kg - 5/5 for 10 sets!!

10 sets!! Might not sound like a lot for some, but this is a PR for me. It was only a few weeks ago that I felt like I couldn't even control the 24kg on the downswing for a few reps. Last week I performed 7 sets of 5/5. All week I had planned to get 8 sets under my belt today. But something inside me yesterday said, "you can do 10 sets tomorrow". Maybe that's the reason for the dreaming - my brain planned for 8, while my body was confident on 10. Who knows. Regardless I feel awesome!

Next Monday, I plan to work a straight set in RKC testing fashion to get a baseline for where I am at. Then I am going to taper for a week, only work with the 16kg, before starting up the next cycle. By then, Christmas will be behind us and hopefully (fingers crossed) Santa will have delivered me a 32kg bell.

I am psyched for 2008!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fri, 12/14 - High Pulls

Friday's has become my High Pulls Day (at least for now). Monday has turned into Snatches Day and Wednesday has become Swings Day. When I finally did get around to the High Pulls today, the first couple of sets were rough, particularly on the left side, as my hands were hurtin' big time today. It was hard getting a good grip on the bell, but I finally seemed to settle in on a comfortable position (or maybe my hands just went numb) around the third set or so.

Here's this morning's practice...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 30, 24kg - 20

Clean & Press: 16kg - 5/5

Windmills: 16kg - 5/5, 24kg - 1/1 for 3 sets

High Pulls: 24kg - 5/5 for 8 sets

It's likely I'll take the weekend off from training. At least that's what my brain is saying right now. I guess I'll have to wait and see how I'm feeling tomorrow. I do like having the day before and the day after Snatches off. So tomorrow is my last chance to get something else in for the week. Later!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thurs, 12/13

Today is a (relatively) easy day for me. I was going to say I didn't touch a single kettlebell, but that's not true since I used one to support one arm while working on one-arm pushups. They have infiltrated every aspect of my life!!

Anyhoo, today was somewhat short and quick...

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - 5, 5, 3, 3, 1

These are definitely getting tougher now as I'm almost fully stretched out at the bottom position.

Assisted 1-Arm Pushups - 5/5 for 2 sets

Used the 24kg kb to keep the non-working arm raised out to the side while concentrating on my form with the working arm.

Finished off with some Z-Health: Lengthening, Pelvis, Lumbar, Thoracic, Neck & Shoulders (in that order). I guess it's time to watch some more of the DVD and add another body segment...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wed, 12/12 - Swings

Good morning! I was feeling pretty good today. And I should since I took yesterday off from working out. This has happened twice now in the last two weeks and I think it's because I'm bumping up the intensity of my Monday Snatch workout. Which is a good thing. So for now it looks like on Tuesday's I get to sleep till 6am!!

My hands are still a bit sensitive from the Snatch workout as well, so luckily I am able to hang on to the 24kg for reps using the hook grip. Here's what today looked like...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40, 24kg - 20

Turkish Getups: 16kg - 5/5

Pistols: 8kg - 5/5

1-Hand Swings: 24kg - 10/10 for 4 sets

Today was the first day in a long while that I was able to get to rock bottom on my left leg Pistol. I had been working the movement just up to the point of tightness (that arose out of nowhere that I could determine, and was painful to work through) and slowly over some time was able to increase the range of motion without feeling any pain or tightness. The first few reps I was stopping prematurely because I thought I sensed a bit of tightness, but on the 4th rep, I tried inching beyond that point and though "hmm". Last rep all the way down and felt good! Then I thought, "should I do another set?" But common sense told me no, don't push it. Baby steps.

So all in all, very happy with today's session. Swing 'em high!

Monday, December 10, 2007

No Dead Lifting

Today I ran over to the Planet Fitness facility near my office. They gym that I had belonged to has been bought out by Planet Fitness and my membership was transferred to their other location. Now I haven't been to the gym in months, since I've been working out with my kettlebells consistently at home in the early mornings. But my monthly membership fee was so small that I hadn't cancelled in case things at work change which would allow me to return to getting a workout in on my lunch hour.

But I finally decided to cut loose. As I stood in the facility, which looked pretty nice, I took note that it was painted nicely, looked clean, with a myriad of weight machines and cardio equipment, but was missing free weights. Then I spotted a small rack containing new looking rubber dumbbells. Next to it was another rack with some fixed plate barbells. And right above both on the wall was a big sign that read "No Dead Lifting".

That made me smile as I cancelled my membership and walked out the door.

Mon, 12/10 - Snatch Day

For those of you who have been following along, last Monday was a breakthrough day for me in terms of Snatches. It was the first day that I really felt comfortable and was able to Snatch for decent volume with the 24kg. All week I continued to train and prepare for this morning's session. Was last week just a fluke? Could I comfortably repeat last week's numbers?

Well I am happy to say that last week was not a fluke and this week saw an improvement over last (with some minor adjustments to my routine). So here goes...

Warmed up with the usual sequence of movement, only reduced the number of Swings a bit from the usual amount.

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 30, 24kg - 10
Halos: 16kg - 5/5
Figure 8 to Hold - 5/5

Then moved right on to the main feature...

Snatches: 16kg - 5/5
24 kg - 5/5 x 7 sets

Amazing. I don't think I overdid it either. I'll see how I feel during the day today. I'm trying to incrementally increase my volume without feeling any harsh after effects. I guess my sessions are working. Sweet!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Quick Swings

Did two sets of quick swings today, just to keep things loose and moving...

1-Hand Swings:
16kg - 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1
24kg - 1/2/3/4/5/4/3/2/1

These were performed 1 rep left, 1 rep right, 2 reps left, 2 reps right, etc. non-stop up and down the pyramid. Therefore each set consisted of a total of 50 swings. I got the idea for this from the mentioned on the recent Power by Pavel email newsletter, "what 200 snatched can do for the relative beginner". Not too bad.

Howie B., RKC??

Well first things first. Recovering from getting rear ended on my way in to work yesterday morning, if you want to call it recovering, is going extremely well. As a matter of fact, I don't have any post-accident problems or issues today whatsoever. I was a bit tight around my obliques this morning, but I think that's a result of yesterday morning's Windmills. So I am a very fortunate guy. Getting hit from behind on a highway is not something anyone wants to brag about. My rear bumper looks like it needs a bit of a lift, but other than that I think my car is ok as well. That Civic has been very good to me over the years.

Now on to the title of today's posting. I have decided that I will pursue an RKC certification. If any certifications get scheduled following the coming June session, I'll be there. I am already a great proponent of the kettlebells, whether it be to family, friends or coworkers. I'll always telling people how great they are, how much fun they are to swing and how amazing they are for one's health and fitness. I've taken my kb with me to work and demonstrated for friends, directed people to dragondoor and Enter the Kettlebell. I think it only makes sense to go all the way.

I know the April certification is already sold out, and that's all well and good because I don't know if I'd be ready for the Snatch test by then. And the June certification falls over the same weekend as my wife's birthday. And there's no way I'm going away during that time. So that leaves me to hope that the second half of 2008 will offer me a chance to get certified. I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep my eyes on the dragondoor website. Oh yeah, and I'll keep working on my Snatches!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fender Bender

Ouch! Got rear ended this morning on 95 North. Car in front of me slammed on their brakes. I slammed on mine. Stopped just in time. Looked in rear view mirror... uh oh, this isn't going to be good. BAM! pause... BAM! I got hit from behind then bounced forward into the car in front of me.

We all pulled off to the side. Took me a few seconds to catch my breath and let my adrenaline level come down. Everyone got out of their cars, all were ok. Car in front of me, no damage. Car behind me, front hood, bumper and one head light smashed in. My Civic, rear bumper somewhat dented, but not enough to worry about on a '99 model. Front of my car, nothing noticeable.

I'll carefully try to stretch out my back and neck today. I don't expect any problems beyond maybe some tightness. We shall see. Glad I worked out this morning, so that I was already warmed up and loose when struck.

Just another morning in NY.

Friday, 12/7

I was sooooooo tired this morning. But I forced myself to get up when the snooze went off at 5:15am. Just like Rif said, never ask yourself, "Do I feel like training?" Because you know what the answer will be, particularly if the alternative is to stay under the covers and catch another hour of zzz's. So I got up and got moving. And had a pretty good workout. Here's today...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40; 24kg - 20
Halos: 16kg - 5/5; 24kg - 5/5
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 5/5; 24kg - 5/5

These were done once through with the 16kg (swings, then halos, then 8's), then grabbed the 24kg and ran through each again in same order.

Windmills: 16kg - 5/5; 24kg - 5/2

My form broke down on the 3rd rep so I stopped right here and moved on.

Clean & Presses: 16kg - 5/5; 24kg - 3/3

These felt pretty good. I'm gonna wait and see how the bicep feels tomorrow.

High Pulls: 24kg - 5/5 x 7 sets

These felt pretty good today too. I increased the number of sets from prior sessions. Hoping to see that come Monday my Snatches are still feeling as good as they did this week.

That's all folks. Enjoy the weekend!!

KSB T-Shirt

My t-shirt from Rannoch was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. It is SWEET!! Thank you Rannoch. I'll take some pics over the weekend. Fashion show! Fashion show!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thurs, 12/6

Some easy work this morning. It's been a while since I did any 'in-between' exercises, so today wasn't as easy as it usually is. But still not bad, not even close to the intensity of my kettlebell workouts.

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - 5, 5, 5, 5

I'm still working up to a complete roll out from standing position. My goal was to be able to perform one before the end of the year. I still have a little bit of time. Today's session consisted of me rolling out to a stop (45lb plate) from standing position then return. Each set I inched back farther away from the plate. Right now the hardest part is initiating the return when I'm extended in the jack knife position.

Then went back to working on Z-Health movements. Still working my way through the book/dvd. Today practiced the following:

Z-Health - Lengthening, Pelvis, Lumbar, Thoracic, Neck, Shoulders

That's it and that's all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wed, 12/5

Well all of our snow is pretty much gone now. I guess we'll just have to wait for the first big storm to blanket us with something that will last.

Still feeling the aftermath of Monday's awesome Snatch work, so I took it a little easy today.

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40

Turkish Getups: 16kg - 3/3; 24kg - 1/1

Pistols: 8kg - 3/3; 16kg - 3/3

1-Hand Swings: 24kg - 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

And that was it for today. Friday will be High Pulls again.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday, 12/3

Took the day off from work today, so I didn't have to wake up early. Did do some early Christmas shopping at the mall, got home and squeezed in my practice session.

Warmed up with...
2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40, 24kg - 20
Halos: 16kg - 5/5
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 5/5

Then on to...
Windmills: 16kg - 5/5, 24kg - 5/5

16kg - 5/5
24kg - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5

5 sets of 5 with the 24kg. This is a PR for me. Most volume to date. I was AMAZED at how good these felt. Only last week, I felt like I couldn't control the down swing using the 24kg. I guess a few sessions of High Pulls and 1-Hand Swings with the 24kg sure did help with that.

I'd like to thanks all those out there with your feedback and suggestions that have helped get me here. This feels awesome! Looking forward to next Monday's session already!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

"I really can't stay."
"But baby it's cold outside..."

My favorite seen from the movie Elf.

And it was cold outside today! Down around 30-degrees. And snow is expected tomorrow! I finished hanging the Christmas icicle lights outside on the house today and it was bitter cold out there.

But beforehand, I loosened up with a few quick Swings. I was also a bit stuff from yesterday's session and because I did some Pistols for the first time in a while, my glutes are hurtin' today!

So anyway, just to loosen up and get the blood flowing today consisted of:

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 20
1-Hand Swings: 16kg - 20/20
2-Hand Swings: 24kg - 10
1-Hand Swings: 24kg - 10/10

Not too much but something to hold me over till Monday. I wonder how much snow we'll get??? That reminds me, better get some gasoline for the snow blower!! =)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday, 11/30

Started off today with the usual warming up exercises:

2-Hand Swing: 16kg - 40
Halos: 16kg - 6/6
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 6/6

Repeated High Pulls today. I liked the way they felt doing them for the first time on Wed.

High Pulls:
16kg - 5/5
24kg - 5/5 x 5

Funny first 2 sets didn't feel too good, form and grip didn't feel comfortable, at that point I said, 'ok let's get one more set in and we'll be done with these for today', but then the third set clicked and felt good. So I said ok, let's see how another set feels and the fourth set felt even better, and so on, the fifth set felt really good. At that point I thought, 'let's leave these on a high note', so that's when I decided to move on to the next exercise. But I really am liking these.

8kg - 3/3
16kg - 3/3

Didn't go down rock bottom on the left side. Shin is still feeling tight just before getting all the way down, and like I've learned in physical therapy, don't work through pain, stop your range of motion just outside the pain and repeat, over time as the injury heals and strength redevelops then start to increase the ROM. So that's what I'm doing. I was able to get down pretty far even still, farther than I have in a while. Will start doing these more often, I love squats.

Clean & Press:
16kg - 1/1 x 5
24kg - 1/1

Each rep, each side I put the kb down on the floor so that I perform each from a complete stop, no swinging involved. Just a bit today to keep the groove greased.

Finished off with some stretching. That's it for today, time to get ready for work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wed, Nov 28

Still moving a little slower than normal, not yet 100%. It's during these times that my sessions become 'practices' and not 'workouts' because I stop before I end up killing myself.

Started with my usual warmup...

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40
Halos: 16kg - 6/6
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 6/6

Then wanted to work some pressing without too many Cleans (still trying to heal the right forearm/bicep) so I mixed up some Clean & Presses with Military Presses:

Clean & Press: 16kg - 1/1
Military Press: 16kg - 5/5, 5/5
Clean & Press: 24kg - 1/1

Through in a few pushups and divebombers to warm up the chest then proceeded to practice a One Arm Pushups on an aerobic step:

One Arm Pushup: 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

Lastly, introduced a new exercise to the mix today, High Pulls. I think I'm going to try rotating through Snatches, High Pulls, Swings throughout the week (Mon/Wed/Fri) for a few weeks and see how it goes. Hoping the High Pulls help me improve my Snatches.

High Pulls:
16kg - 5/5, 5/5
24kg - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5

Finished off with some stretching, lower back, hamstrings, quads, neck. That's it for today, moving forward again!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday Practice

This morning's workout was more like a practice than a workout. I'm still not feeling 100% and did not want to overdo it on my first morning back.

2-Hand Swings: 16kg - 40x; 24kg - 25x
Halos: 16kg - 5/5
Figure 8 to Hold: 16kg - 5/5

Clean & Press: 16kg - 1/1, 1/1; 24kg - 1/1

Windmill: 16kg - 3/3, 3/3

Snatches: 16kg - 5/5, 5/5; 24kg - 3/3

Pretty easy today and I felt very good when ending, not exhausted as usual.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Practice

Felt like some light, easy, miscellaneous practice today.

Tried a bottom-up TGU with 12kg kb. Almost perfect on the right side (until returning onto my back when it dropped) and not even close on the left side (didn't make it up to my elbow when it dropped).

Practiced a few dead-hand cleans with the 12kg and 16kg. I'm going to sprinkle these in again starting this week while watching my right bicep/forearm closely to make sure I don't overdo it again. And pullups will be infrequent for a while as well.

Then practiced a few 16kg Snatches. I think to date I have been overcompensating with the punch-through at the top. Maybe that's a beginners necessity, but got a pretty comfortable feeling at the top just now. Will try to maintain that feeling going forward.

Tomorrow will be the start of the weekly routine again...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Inching Back

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. And ate lots of turkey. It's good for you. Lot's of protein!

Anyway, as for me, this cold is still trying to hang on. I'm still stuffed and coughing but starting to feel like my old self again. I've gone through my 5 days of antibiotics and have a few more days of using Nasonex to try to get my sinuses back to normal, so I guess there's not much else to do but wait now.

Since I was feeling a bit better today, I thought I'd start to acclimate my body to swinging again. So although a small practice session, it was something.

2-Hand Swings with 16kg: 10, 20, 20, 20, 10

100 swings to get things moving again. This was surprising easy, even not being 100% yet. Thinking about starting to add some high volume 2-Hand Swing days in the future. More tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Can I Get A Cheer for the Kettlebells?

Now mind you, this might not sound like a big deal to you, but it certainly was to me. Illin' here in NY with a nasty flu-like something, I decided not to wait it out with Thanksgiving this week and made a visit to the doctor today (yes, doctors are around on Sundays).

Once escorted to the examining room, the nurse proceeded to check the standard vitals. First temperature then blood pressure. It was here that I received a compliment from her, "Very nice blood pressure!" A bit surprised, "Oh really? What is it?" "110 over 70."

Now I have probably for over the last 10 years always been up around 120/80-guy and on more than one occasion been above that where the doctor mentioned we might have to keep our eye on things in the future. So to me, this was awesome. And the only thing I could think of was, "Thank you kettlebells for this wonderful, unexpected surprise." =)

So for that, can I get a Hip Hip Hooray?!?!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rudolph with your nose so bright...

This is pretty much what I am looking like these days. I came down with my son's cold. Runny nose, coughing, aching, feverish. The joys of parenthood! No workouts since Tuesday.
Does anyone have a magic pill???

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wake up to Turkish Getups

Had a rough night and morning. Little guy is sick and was in our bed with us until after 2am. Therefore didn't get good sleep until he was back in his crib. Then when alarm went off at 5am, my throat felt scratchy and eyes were burning. Thought I would sleep through until about 5:50am when I decided to get up and get things moving, even if it was lighter than usual.

So I decided to practice my form on Turkish Getups with the 8kg. Broke the movement down into 4 parts and worked each with 5 reps on each side. Therefore 20 reps on each side of body. Finished off with some light stretching.

Hopefully tonight will better and I can get some Swings in tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday, Z's & Ab Wheels

Today thankfully is one of my easy days. Yesterday's routine wiped me out good for most of the day. Good thing I packed some good food to bring with me to work, otherwise I probably would have eaten a lot of crap. I felt like I didn't stop eating until the evening, and even then still felt wiped. So today is a good day for active recovery! (And it's also Sushi Tuesday at lunch today!)

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - 5 x 5
I'm inching back further and further each set, getting real close to being horizontal when fully extended.

Z-Health - did some of this over the weekend as well and reviewed the Pelvis section, so added that on today. Went through following sections in this order: Lengthening - Pelvis - Lumbar - Thoracic - Neck - Shoulders

Looking forward to some 'easy' swings tomorrow. Have a good one!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday's Snatches

I always look forward to my Monday workouts. On Monday's I do my Snatches. Rest of the week is focused on Swings. Last week I introduced the 24kg into my Snatch routine for the first time. Reading Aaron Friday's blog recently has gotten me inspired to 'get strong' with my lifts including my Snatches. I guess part of what has been holding me back is my fear of injuring my shoulders. But since starting with these kettlebells I have seen great improvement in them as well as my chronically messed up neck. So today I decided to push myself just a little bit to see how things felt. But first let's start at the beginning...


2-Hand Swings/Halos/Figure 8's to Hold
16kg - 50 swings; 5/5; 8/8
24kg - 20 swings; 5/5; 5/5

Then onto the 'real' workout...

1-Arm Overhead Squats
8kg - 5/5
16kg - 5/5, 5/5

These felt better today than last week. Not sure if my form is perfect. At times I feel my elbow unlocking, not sure how close to my head my vertical arm should be, is it ok if my head is angled a bit to accommodate my arm next to it?? So many questions.

16kg - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5

These are feeling pretty good. Getting both palms flat on the floor at bottom position.

Finally on to my Snatches....

16kg - 5/5
24kg - 10/10
16kg - 15/15

Went easy first set with the 16kg to start greasing the groove. Then pushed myself to finish off the 10 and 10. My body felt like an electric current was running through it when I was done. This was tough!! Particularly when I switched hands the felt the wet, sweaty handle. Sure makes you want to hold on tight (which I know I don't want to overdo). Was going to end it right there but thought it best to add some more volume. Finally finishing off with the 16kg again, was focusing initially on form, then just wanted to get through all 30.

Good workout today! I'm lovin' it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

No Presses Friday

Right bicep is still pretty sore, so today I thought I'd incorporate a few other exercises to replace the Clean & Presses while still giving the shoulders some work.

Warmed up with the usual...

16kg: 2-Hand Swings 30x, Halos 5/5, 8s to Hold: 6/6
24kg: 2-Hand Swings 20x, Halos 5/5, 8s to Hold (with 16kg): 8/8

Then proceeded to perform the following 3-exercise superset...

1-Leg Deadlift w/ 24kg: 5/5, 5/5, 5/5
1-Arm Overhead Squat w/ 8kg: 5/5, 5/5, 5/5
Windmill w/16kg: 5/5, 5/5, 5/5

I first attempted the Overhead Squat with the 16kg and immediately felt my should fall forward on the first rep, so decided to lighten up on my first day. No problem thereafter, actually these were pretty easy. But I have to remember, I was performing them for the benefit of my shoulders, not as a squat workout.

Then moved on to Swings...

1-Handed Swings w/ 24kg:

I'm starting to get glimpses of weightlessness of the kettlebell with these. Must mean I am properly recruiting whole body into the movement. Nice feeling. I am SO looking forward to having the weekend off (except for maybe some Greasing the Groove on my one-arm pushups). =)

Enjoy the weekend!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

ThurZday, 11/8

Easy day today, working on my Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts followed by some Z-Health movements. Right now only performing movements for 5 areas and each week plan to review and incorporate at least one new area into the mix.

Right bicep is very sore today. Not sure if it was initially caused by pullups or cleaning the 24kg or both. So I'll be resting it until next week. Tomorrow's routine will be a little different than usual. Back to today's routine, like I said, pretty easy...

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (continue to inch further back each set)

Z-Health - Lengthening -> Lumber -> Thoracic -> Shoulders -> Neck

Starting to see a little more movement in some of the exercises, others not so much. But will continue to plug away.

Until tomorrow, swing 'em high!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wed Lotsa Presses

Feeling pretty strong this morning, I decided to take Aaron's advice and lose the 8kg kb that starts out my warmup. I jumped right in with the 16kg...

16kg: 2-Hand Swings 30x, Halos 5/5, 8s to Hold: 5/5
24kg: 2-Hand Swings 20x, Halos 5/5, 8s to Hold (with 16kg): 5/5

During my warmup I noticed that I have a dull ache in my right bicep, near the elbow. I have had this re-occurring for some time. My physical therapist classified it at an over-use injury. I am starting to connect it to pullups, particularly when I perform them on my Power Tower here at home. At the gym, there are several pullup bars at different angles and I used to do my pullups there as opposed to the straight bar here at home. Now that I've started my "at home only" routine, the ache is returning. So needless to say, I decided to skip pullups today.

Instead I became more focused on my Clean & Presses...

Clean & Press 16kg: 5/5
Clean & Press 24kg: 1/1, 5/5, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 3/3

Wanting to hit 5/5 with the 24kg, I decided not to tire myself out too much with laddering and went for it pretty early on. And I hit it! I then decided to keep it up and started a ladder. Going was pretty strong until I got back to my set of 5's. Couldn't do it on the left side so opted for 3 good ones and then matched it on the right. Not too bad. Then on to the Swings...

1-Hand Swings 24kg: 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 15/15, 15/15

Today I learned the beauty of the "hook grip" with swings. After Monday's Snatch workout my hands were fried. And as soon as I performed my first set of swings today, they were screaming. With a small adjustment I found the sweet spot and was able to finish without a problem. The hook grip will definitely strengthen my fingers I can see.

Today's totals:
2-Hand Swings 2112 lbs
1-Hand Swings 6336 lbs
Total Swung = 8448 lbs

That's it for today. Tomorrow is an easy day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sushi Tuesday

It's Tuesday and that means in the cafeteria at work it's Sushi Day!! Or Sushi Tuesday as I like to call it. Mmmm... looking forward to some spicy tuna rolls this afternoon.

Keeping to my schedule, I set the alarm for 5am this morning (hit the snooze just a little) and was moving earlier than same time last week. Being an "off" day just focused on the following...

Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - four sets of 5, 5, 5, 3
First set I was relatively close to the plate, did 5 reps rolling out from standing position and back, next set, inched back a bit, out and back for 5 reps, inched back a again, same, last set I was pretty far out and was only able to complete 3 reps. This seems to be working.

Z-Health - Shoulders, Neck, Lumbar & Thoracic
Worked these portions of the program today. I am definitely starting to feel my neck possibly opening up. It's hard to tell right now. Every now and again, I'll move it and feel something snap or pop, in a good way, where it might have felt tight, strange. Still very far off on the Lateral Tilt & Glides, still almost no movement there. Egyptian is coming along. As for the Thoracic, I find the seated A/P Glides easier to get feel/movement in rather than the standing version. And the Thoracic Lateral Glides, again, almost no movement there for me. But I'll keep working it.

Over the past few days I have also been trying to Grease the Groove a bit on my One Arm Pushups. I am just about there on the right side and have a little further to go on the left. Practicing singles right now. Pretty cool.

That's all for today. Tomorrow we swing!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today is my wedding anniversary. Seven years of wonderful wedded bliss. Boy how time flies. My wife and I actually started dating right after college, so we've actually been together for 16 years now. Now that sounds like a long time!

Anyway, with us going back to Standard Time over the weekend, I thought I'd take advantage and not give my body too much slack so rather than give it that whole extra hour, I gave it an extra 30 minutes. This morning, rather than set the alarm for 5:30am like I usually do, I set it for 5:00am. (Still feels like 6:00 to me.) Now I should get a few more valuable minutes to devote to my morning madness (aka kettlebells).

This morning's workout looked something like this...

8kg - 30 2-Hand Swings, 5/5 Halos, uncounted number of Figure 8's to a Hold
16kg - 20 2-Hand Swings, 5/5 Halos, uncounted number of Figure 8's to a Hold
24kg - 20 2-Hand Swings, 5/5 Halos

I threw in some of the Figure 8's to a Hold because I thought it would be good to add a bit of rotation to my mostly rigid routine, even if it is just part of my warmup. These felt pretty good too. My first time trying them. Def felt them in my obliques.

On to the Main Workout...

Clean & Presses:
16kg - 5/5
24kg - 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3

Bodyweight Pullups:
5, 5, 5, 5

I sprinkled the BW Pullups into my C&Ps, today kept my hands out a little wider just outside the bend in the pullup bar. I have one of those Power Towers. Only problem is that the back rest (to be used for leg raises) gets in my way. Particularly if I try to hang weight from my belt.

I considered going for a 4/4 set but didn't think I could pull it off cleanly, so instead I opted to run another ladder. We'll see how I feel on Wed. (If I do these again on Wed, have been considering replacing these on Wed with deadlifts... not sure yet.)

16kg - 10/10
24kg - 5/5
16kg - 10/10

After performing the C&Ps with the 24kg, my first snatch with the 16kg felt very light. Very cool. That's when I decided to pepper my snatches with some 24kg. Gotta start sometime/somewhere right? My hands definitely feel wrecked this morning, but otherwise I was feeling pretty strong today. Tomorrow I will try to get back into some Z-Health. Will introduce Thoracic exercises tomorrow.

Total swings = 2288 lbs
Total snatches = 3168 lbs
Total poundage = 5456 lbs

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fast Friday

It's Friday! And it's my first workout in November! I kinda screwed up the alarm this morning, so I was late getting to my workout so I had to cut out some non-essentials for today.

Continued with my normal warmup of 2-Hand Swings supersetted with Halos:
8kg - 30 swings; 5/5 Halos (to the left, to the right)
16kg - 20 swings; 5/5 Halos
24kg - 20 swings; 5/5 Halos

Clean & Presses: (still cleaning before each press)
16kg - 5/5
24kg - 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 (this looks like a ladder!)

1-Hand Swings:
24kg - 10/10

Totals: 1-Hand Swings: 2288lbs + 2-Hand Swings: 5280 = 7568 lbs

That's all for today. Over the weekend I plan to squeeze in a few odds and ends such as Ab Wheel Rollouts, One Arm Pushups and Z-Health. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hans & Franz

Took today off from training. Tomorrow is Heavy Swing Day and yesterday/last night was busy so thought I'd sleep in this morning. Sleeping in for me means I got up at 6:15am rather than 5:30am. 45 minutes never felt so good!

Yesterday at work we dressed up for Halloween. A colleague and I dressed up as Hans and Franz from the old Saturday Night Live skit. Here are a couple of the pics that were taken.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Long live Mini Twix Bars!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

I'll be glad when all this candy is out of the house (well I'll be sorta sad too). Because then we can start thinking about Turkey!! OK, enough about food. Let's get on with today's workout. In the spirit of Enter the Kettlebell, I am trying to keep the Light-Medium-Heavy Day cycling throughout the week. Therefore on Mondays I'll be Snatching with the 16kg (Light), Wednesday will be Swings with both the 16kg and 24kg, and Fridays will be Swings with emphasis on the 24kg (until I get something bigger). Oh yeah, and I'll be doing Clean & Presses each day as well, but those will be focused on building strength with the 24kg. So here's what today's session looked like...

Warmup of 2-Hand Swings and Halos:

8kg - 30 swings; 5/5 halos

16kg - 20 swings; 5/5 halos

24kg - 20 swings; 3/3 halos

Clean & Presses:

16kg - 5/5

24kg - 2/2, 1/1, 2/2

Weighted Pullups:

15lbs - 3, 3, 3

1-Hand Swings:

16kg - 20/20, 15/15, 10/10

24kg - 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

Daily totals:

70 2-Hand Swings for 2288lbs

150 1-Hand Swings for 6336 lbs

Total poundage 8624 lbs

Gotta go, time to put on my costume... possible pics tomorrow....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Z-Health for Breakfast

You know the Rice Crispies commercial right? Snap, Crackle, Pop? Well that's what my neck sounded like this morning as I worked through the neck portion of Z-Health R-Phase.

Today is technically my "day off", but that just means I go easy but still try to keep things moving. Surprisingly my biceps feel a bit sore today, maybe from yesterday's pullups. I almost feel like I've been curling. Anyway, to keep moving today this is what I did...

Practice Standing Ab Wheel Rollouts - an uncounted number of reps where I started first standing maybe two feet away from a 45lb olympic plate, rolled out (from my tippy toes) into it (to a complete stop) and returned back up, did a few reps like this, then inched back and repeated. I did this a few times. Not enough to kill my abs but enough to feel some fatigue. The plan is to continue to do this until I can do a complete rollout and return back to standing without any assistance.

Then on to Z-Health....

Started with Neutral Standing and Lengthening - no prob.

Next worked the Shoulder routine - not too bad, the shoulder circles felt good, the scapula rolls (camshafts) created some popping sounds, but no pain involved, so ok.

Then it was on to the Neck routine - neck continues to be tight on me from my mishap last(?) week. (Maybe it was the week before even...) First real challenge was the Lateral Glide or Egyptian. My range of motion for this is limited. Same for Full Circles since it hits the same movement. Then the Lateral Tilt & Lateral Glide... the Glide was almost non-existent. On either side. I guess I've found an area to concentrate on! Hahaha And lastly, the Figure Eights, good movement here but this is where the Rice Crispies came in. Lots of Snap, Crackle, Pop here.

So all in all, my day off wasn't too physically demanding, so I should feel strong for tomorrow morning's kettlebell workout, but it also has given me something to focus on with Z-Health. I'll continue to work the neck now as much as possible throughout the day and repeat today's routine again in full on Thursday.

Time to run. Keep swinging!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Is It Monday Already?

The weekends go fast around here! I can't believe it's already Monday morning. I was still tight from Saturday's workout, particularly in the hamstrings. But they loosened up pretty well with my warmup. When I warm up with 2-Hand Swings, I typically keep the range of motion small since (1) I'd only woken up a few minutes earlier and (2) it allows me to really focus in on the tight muscles of my legs, hips and back.

So today was the restart of my program. For now, I am going to stay similar to the Enter the Kettlebell program, only I've made a few personal changes. Firstly, with the Cleans & Presses, no laddering, just straight sets. And secondly, I'm not going to be performing my Swings/Snatches to time for a while, also going for straight sets. This will allow to pace myself better and start introducing the 24kg kb into my program.

So this is what today's routine looked like:

Warmed up with my routine of 2-Hand Swings followed immediately by Halos with the 8kg, then the 16kg, then the 24kg

5 sets of Clean & Presses supersetted with Bodyweight Pullups:

Clean & Presses -
16kg 5/5, 5/5
24kg 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

Bodyweight Pullups - 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Snatches with 16kg -
10/10 (left/right)

100 snatches in total for 3520 lbs

Tomorrow I plan to start working on some Z-Health movements. I will be starting out with Lengthening, followed by Shoulders and then Neck. That will be my focus this week. Then I'll add one or two more areas next week (I'll be using the weekends to read up and watch the dvd for incorporating new movements).

I may do a few Turkish GetUps or Windmills tomorrow first. They do seem to be good for my shoulders and I don't want to loose that. But at the same time, I don't want to overdo things again. I guess I'll just have to play it by ear and see how things go. Time to shower!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rainy Saturday

A lot of rain has been falling here in the last two days. So it makes it a lot easier to play with kettlebells in the house. Today was a hybrid workout, something a little different. This still being my off week I'm doing some experimenting to come up with a good program for myself. So today I tried out some pyramiding for my swings.

Workout looked like this...

Warmup of supersets consisting 2-Hand Swings and Halos, first with 8kg, then 16kg, then 24 kg.
(I don't count the reps for these, but do just enough to get my warmed up and loose.)

16kg Turkish GetUp - 5/5
Rather than perform for time, I opted for 5 reps on each side, alternating sides for each rep.

16kg 1-Hand Swings:

24kg 1-Hand Swings:

Total volume: 5667 lbs

This felt pretty good. I think I might prefer this type of routine to the timed kind. I think maybe I'll cycle through each kind every few weeks. Also might change the Clean & Presses come next week, to perform more straight sets rather than pyramids (until I start using the 24kg).

Also started reading through and watching the Z-Health R-Phase manual and dvd. There's a lot of info in there to take in, although it seems rather easy, I find it very difficult to perform the "Egyptian". I'm sure there will be other movements that won't come too easy as well. I'm thinking that maybe next week I will start a Mon-Wed-Fri KB routine, introducing Z-Health full body work on Tues-Thurs(-maybe some Saturdays as well).

I am finding it more difficult to get my Saturday workouts in as the weekends are the only days I have at home to get anything done. And I'd feel awfully guilty if I missed a scheduled workout.

That's all for today. Catch you on Monday!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Quickie

Well today is not a usual training day for me, but since I had taken most of this week off I wanted to squeeze in one or two exercises to keep the body on track. I received the Z-Health package yesterday, so I'll start digesting it over the weekend.

Today consisted of the following:

Ab Wheels - 6, 6, 6
One Arm Pushups - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

That's it!! Back/neck is still awfully tight. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rest Week

I decided to take a bit of a break this week. I started getting up early almost 5 weeks ago and have been working out 5 days a week. After this past Saturday's heavy swings session, I could feel my body asking for a bit of a reprieve. I did jump in pretty fast with things so I can't blame it for wanting some rest. I plan to restart the ETK program again on Monday, only I am going to jump back a week from where I left off and then start working my way up again. I realize now that there's no hurry for me to reach any specific destination, that benefits are gained on the journey. So why rush when you can enjoy the ride?

I also went out on a limb this week and decided to find out what all the fuss is about with regard to Z-Health. I ordered the R-Phase dvd and manual. With my problem shoulders and neck, I figure it can only help. And from what I've heard/read, this program apparently works.

So today's workout was a Variety Day consisting of...

Warmup - 8/26/24kg - 2SW & Halos

8kg TGU for 5 minutes (still breaking into parts)

BW Pullups - 5, 5
24kg Cleans - 5/5, 5/5

OAP - 1/1, 1/1
8kg Pistols - 1/1, 1/1

Finished off with some stretching. Upper back/neck tightened up on me again yesterday, still pretty tight this morning. Swing 'em high!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Squeezed for Time

Saturday has finally arrived. My Heavy Day is upon me. Let me tell you, I have been tired and sore and stiff from this past week's workouts. My Thursday workout of TGU's and Ab Wheels left me so sore, that I felt like I had a bruised rib. Breathing in too deeply has been uncomfortable. I guess I was breaking down the TGU pieces correctly! Wow.

So anyway, I was pressed for time today. And I didn't want to push today's routine into Sunday because that would screw up the rest of my week. So I left out the pullups today that I typically superset with my C&P's. Also, I kicked today's swings up a notch by working with the 24kg. Bam!!

So today was pretty simple... added the fifth rung to my C&P ladders...

16kg C&P - 1/2/3/4/5 x 3

24kg 2SW - 4 min - the dice have been kind to me the last few sessions =)
- 20
- 15
- 15
- 15
65 swings in total, for 3432 lbs or 858 lb/min
Since I haven't been working with the 24kg in a while I opted to do 2 Hand Swings today. And it feels heavy!! But good!

That's it for today, gotta run now. Swing 'em high!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Easy Thursday

This seems to have been a tough week for me. First I strained my neck on Monday, then I feel like I'm fighting off a cold or something, and on top of that I'm feeling awfully tired. The important thing is that I did not miss any workouts. I may have eased up on some things, but listening to one's body is very important. And so today being my Variety Day, I got up at 5:50am (I snoozed it a bit this morning) and got moving.

Warmup with 2SW & Halos - 8/16/24kg

8kg TGU - 5 min
(I lightened up on these today so that I could start refining my form. Definitely feel it in my obliques after this. Still a long way to go.)

OAP - 1/1, 1/1
8kg Pistols - 1/1, 1/1
(Left shin is still pretty tight, although the affected area seems to have decreased in size, now seems focused closer to the knee cap. OAP continue to come along although still not full.)

Ab Wheel - 6, 6, 6

Gotta run!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday... Whew!

I'm finding Wed's are turning out to be the hardest day of the week for me. I guess third day in a row of workouts and getting up early start to catch up with me by now. I had a hard time getting myself out of bed this morning, but did. (Gotta type fast, I hear my little guy waking up now...)

Warmup - 8/16/24kg - 2SW & Halos

16kg C&P - 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4
BW Pullups - 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4, 1/2/3/4

16kg 1SW - 4 min
70 swings, 2464 lbs, 616 lb/min

Gotta go!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Morning Recovery

Good morning. I know so many of you out there have been worrying about me since yesterday's mishap. Thank you for your concerns and well wishes. I am recovering. I was well enough this morning to not miss my Variety Day workout. The good thing about Variety Day is that aside from the TGU's, I can tailor it however I want. And that means, when your neck is still tight and aching, you can sorta go easy on yourself. =)

Warmup - The Usual - 8kg/16kg/24kg 2SW & Halos

16kg TGU for 5 min - now of these today I did sort of go easy. Rather than go full out from the start I spent some time breaking down the movement, first just the shoulder raise, then a half TGU up onto my elbow, then finally to full standing. On Thursday, I think I'm going to drop down to the 8kg and really break it down like I saw DiLuglio (sp?) do it on his website.

Next supersetted Windmills with Twist Hot Potatoes...

16kg Windmill - 3/3, 3/3
8kg Hot Pot - 20, 20

24kg Windmill - 2/2
8kg Hot Pot - 20

Finished off today with some One Arm Pushup (OAP) practice...

OAP - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

And that was it! Today, I'll keep up on the neck with some isometrics throughout the day along with some stretching. Oh yeah, and maybe another Aleve! Swing 'em high everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Morning Injury?

Well it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and a typical Monday morning - filled with Kettlebells.

I started today off with the usual warmup of 2SW & Halos using the 8kg, 16kg and 24kg.

Then on to the C&P's, today is the start of Week 3 of ETK Program, so we increased the Monday ladders by another rung. Supersetted with BW Pullups, it looked something like this:

16kg C&P - 1/2/3, 1/2/3, 1/2/3
BW Pullups - 1/2/3, 1/2/3, 1/2/3

Then on to Snatches for 8 minutes:
16kg SN - 10/10
- 10/10
- 10/10
- 5/5/5/5
For a total of 80 snatches, or 2816 lbs in 8 min, or 352 lb/min

Again, against last week, I was able to perform the same number of snatches but shaved off one minute. Improvement.

So here I was done with a successful workout to get my morning started when I decided to stretch a bit. Well at one point I was laying on my back and for some reason had the urge to go into a neck bridge. I guess that sort of thing happens when you're feeling invincible... well my neck wasn't feeling invincible, particularly since this isn't something I ever do. Needless to say, right now turning my head in either direction isn't too pleasant a motion. I think today is going to call for a lot of Alleve and a lot of stretching. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heavy Saturday

Today was a tough workout day... really tough... my body did not feel like working today. My little guy wasn't feeling well last night. He cried all through yesterday evening and then slept with us in our bed last night. That forces me to sleep in awkward positions on top of being woken up repeatedly throughout the night. And when I got up this morning, everything was tight and aching. And that caused to carry around a headache most of the afternoon. But being as stubborn as I am, I didn't succumb to the discomfort and take any Advil. I toughed it out.

So the 'new' typical warmup today... 8kg/16kg/24kg 2SW and Halos (new because I'm now incorporating the 24kg into the mix)

Being my Heavy Day, today we up'd the ladders to 4 rungs, still 3 times through.

16kg C&P - 1/2/3/4 x 3
BW Pullups - 1/2/3/4 x 3 (these were getting tough toward the latter ladders)

16kg 1SW - 10 minutes (I think these dice are fixed)
- 20/20
- 15/15
- 15/15
- 15/15
- 15/15
- 5 / 5 / 5 / 5
180 swings in total for 6336 lbs or 634 lbs/min

This was the same number of swings I performed last Sat, only last week was in 11 minutes, not 10. So I've shown some improvement in my work capacity!!

And now that I've cooled down, my headache has eased up!! Woo hoo!! Time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. I sure hope I get some more sleep tonight..... Have a great one eveybody!

Friday, October 12, 2007

TGU Refinement

I was checking out the video demonstration of the Turkish Getup on (check out 2006 Kettlebell Videos) and realized how much refining I need to do on the TGU. There are a lot of good videos here to view that could be quite helpful.

I guess I'll have to start with a light kg this weekend and dissect the movement as Anthony does on the video to improve my form. It's amazing how simple yet complex these movements can be!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It Is $et In Stone

Well last night I finally made the leap and enrolled in my first kettlebell seminar. Although I think I've come along pretty far on my own, I'm sure that having an expert watch me and correct me will only pay off huge. So I signed up for Mike Mahler's seminar here in NYC in April. Hopefully I won't have developed any bad habits that can't be undone before then.

Today was my Variety Day. Was tough getting up this morning as the last two nights my little guy has been waking up between 3am-4am because of a stuffy nose. And then decides he'd like to stay up for a while. But HUGE thanks to my wife for taking the brunt of this. If it weren't for her, I'd have nothing to write about this morning.

I woke up today with my body feeling pretty tired. I think I'm starting to push it a bit more and it's feeling it. But at the same time, I am mentally fired up, so I wanted to play today smart.

Warmed up today with 2SW and Halos using the 8kg, then the 16kg... then the 24kg. I am totally amazed at how well my shoulders feel performing the Halos with the 24kg. I remember when I didn't think I could handle the 16kg. Awesome!

Moved on to the following:

TGU for 5 minutes - 16kg with one pass of half TGU's using the 24kg

16kg Windmills - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3
Tried one rep on each side picking up the 24kg from the floor on the way up.
Whoa, what a difference! I'm not sure if these have their own name. I'll look it up.
BW Pullups - 3, 3 (just trying to keep these greased until Sat's ladders)

8kg Pistols - 1/1, 1/1, 1/1
16kg Pistols - 1/1

My left shin is still feeling tight but is definitely improved from earlier. Hopefully, this trend will continue.

I will be demonstrating Pistols today at work. An informal group has now formed for exercise education. On Tues I brought in the ab wheel for demonstration. Yesterday, I got pulled into the conference room to demonstrate the proper (Naked Warrior) one arm pushup. And now today will be the Pistol. And by the way, my abs are still screaming from Tuesday's ab wheel work.

That's it for the week! Saturday lookout! Hope you are all swinging out there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Half Over?

I'll tell ya, for someone who works in a corporate environment and has to wake up at 5:30am to squeeze in a workout, this Enter the Kettlebell routine is GREAT, not only physically but mentally as well. Here is it, Wed morning, my work week has only begun and mentally I am already done for the week. I know tomorrow is my Variety Day. But with that, I could totally skip it if I felt like it. The pressure to get in my Clean & Presses and Swings/Snatches for the week is already over. It is a mentally refreshing routine. And because I feel refreshed from it, and now have the week's weight lifted from my shoulders, I'll get up tomorrow morning to do some Variety work and enjoy it. And come Saturday, I'll be rev'd up to hit it Heavy.

Warmup - 8kg & 16kg for some 2SW (2-Hand Swings) and Halos. 24kg for some 2SW.

16kg C&P - 1/2/3, 1/2/3, 1/2/3
BW Pullups - 1/2/3, 1/2/3, 1/2/3

Three ladders today, three rungs each. On Sat, we'll add a fourth rung.

16kg 1SW - 8 minutes (the dice must be feeling bad for me at this point)
120 swings in total, for 4,224 lbs, or 528 lbs/min

Side note: My abs are feeling pretty tight and a bit sore today. Not only did I do some ab wheels in yesterday's workout, but I also brought the ab wheel in to work and demonstrated it to a few people (the CEO included). So it's feeling pretty shredded this morning. But a good shredded! I just hope this won't be a case of DOS, otherwise I might be in for trouble...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Slow Moving Tuesday

Was a bit tired this morning and had to will myself out of bed. Maybe the weekend finally caught up with me. Or maybe it was the idea of practicing TGU's that was keeping me down. But I did get up and did go through my morning workout.

Usual warmup of 2SW and Halos with the 8kg and 16kg. Then on to the good stuff...

16kg TGU for 5 minutes

BW Pullups - 5

Ab Wheel - 5, 5, 5 (notched down a rep from last time, but added another set)

OAP - 1/1, 1/1 (these are finally starting look almost like the real thing. and they absolutely teach you about whole body tension, even moreso (I think) than pistols)

Pistols - 8kg 1/1
- 16kg 1/1
I am still very tight in my left shin. I think its actually stemming from my swings. Maybe the kettlebell version of shin splints. Focusing on keeping tension throughout, I was able to work through the tightness, but limited the reps to only one per set. I'll see how this works and feels. Hopefully as my body adapts to these workouts, the shin will strengthen and feel better. So I just need to be smart about it for now.

That's it for today. Time to shower.

Monday, October 8, 2007

ETK - Start of Week 2

Good morning. Welcome back to the week. After a nice weekend and a tough Sat Heavy Day, it's time to restart the clock and start winding things back up again.

This is the start of Week 2 for me on the Enter the Kettlebell Program. That means this week I add an additional rung to my Clean & Press Ladders. All else stays the same. I'm still rolling the dice to set my Snatch/Swing durations. Last week was not so nice to me, giving me a 9, 10, and 11 for each of my days. Let's see how random this week looks.

Warmup - the usual 8kg and 16kg for some 2SW and Halos. Since I'm essentially rolling out of bed each morning into my workout room, I find the 8kg are a nice way to wake my body up and prepares me to start moving.

Superset of Clean & Press with Bodyweight Pullups (3 ladders, 2 rungs each)...

16kg C&P - 1/2, 1/2, 1/2
16kg BW Pullups - 1/2, 1/2, 1/2

Then it was on to Snatches. I picked up my dice, shook them in my hand violently, and... you know, I've been going through something of an internal debate lastely with this whole dice thing. Part of me says to wait until it's time to swing or snatch before rolling, make it spontaneous, and another part of me thinks that maybe I should do all my rolls for the week at once so that I can mentally prepare myself before each workout. So far, Spontaneous 1, Planned 0. Maybe because I am the type of person that likes to plan everything out, I'm letting the 'crazy' part of me take over here. Whatever. Anyway, so I'm shaking up the dice, cock back my arm, and let them fly..... a 9!!! (this is starting to look like a repeat of last week!)

16kg SN - 9 min

80 swings in total, 2816 lbs, 313 lbs/min

That was it for today. Now it's time to get ready for work. Hey, isn't today a holiday?!?!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hot, Hot Saturday

Here we are, the first weekend of October and what do you know... it's 88 degrees outside! So much for autumn weather. We had a big day planned, so I made sure I got my Heavy Day workout in early.

Warmed up with 8kg doing some 2-hand swings and halos. Then same with the 16kg. Just enough to get me warm and loose, but not enough to keep count.

Then began with Clean & Presses with the 16kg. Three ladders, three rungs each.

16kg C&P - 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
- 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
- 1/1, 2/2, 3/3

Then is was time for Swings. I'm using the dice method to set my swing durations. On my Light day this week, I rolled a 9. On my Moderate day, a 10. I was certainly due for a short, but heavy workout. Come on, baby needs a new pair of shoes.... an 11!! So, trying to keep up the intensity, I only rested enough in between sets to catch my breath. This is what it looked like:

16kg 1SW - 11 min

180 swings in total, for 6336 lbs, or 576 lbs per min.

Then finished up with two sets of BW Pullups: 8, 5

Following the today's workout it was the day to attend the annual Matterhorn October Funfest.

Well let me tell you, 3 hours in the 88-degree sun is exhausting! It was way too hot to enjoy things.

They had a children's band playing (not bad), a tasting of NY wines (so, so), hayrides (too hot), face painting, pumpkin painting, popcorn and other activities for the kids. My nephew and sister-in-law came with us. Nephew is 4 years old, so he had a good time. The rest of us, not so much.

Here's one of me and my little guy Anthony.

I just hope that tomorrow cools down for us. Catch you after the weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ab Wheel PAIN

So today is my day off from working out. Tomorrow is my scheduled Heavy day for C&P and Swings. Good thing too because I woke up this morning to some really nice soreness throughout my entire upper body, thanks to the ab wheel.

It has been a while since I've rolled that's why I only did 2 sets of 6 yesterday. Doesn't sound like much, but when you're not used to doing them, wow. Don't get me wrong, it is a good soreness. My entire midsection feels like its been stretched out, worked over and put back in place. I can also feel it in my upper back and traps. Nice!

And again, since it's an Off Day for me, I was able to sleep in. I didn't get up until 5:50am today - wooo hooo !! But tomorrow is Saturday, that's the day that I really get to sleep in. My wife usually lets me sleep late on Sat mornings while she hangs with our one-year old. So don't be surprised if I tell you I slept till 8am. We'll see. Just glad today is Friday and the work week is coming to a close.

Fun stuff going on this weekend. Matterhorn Nursery is having their annual autumn family weekend. Wine tasting, hay rides and activities for the kids, Halloween decorations everywhere, should be fun. There's also some Octoberfest stuff going on on Sunday, food, beer, music. I just hope the beautiful weather holds out.

That's it for today, catch you later.