Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Tuesday, July 24th

Well after a few days of working on a continuous basis and then coming down with a cold/flu that my one-year old was nice enough to pass along, I made my way back into the gym. I totally missed my Heavy day this weekend, but since I am still not 100% I figured moving along and working the Light RKC day would be a good ramp up to full health and strength.

For Week 2, my heavy day will consist of 3 ladders of 4 rungs each. Therefore today consisted of 3 ladders of 2 rungs each. For swings/snatches, I decided to forego the snatches as my left elbow is still a bit sore. I'm going to stick with swings until it's feeling strong again. I stuck with the 16kg kb for the entire workout.

2SW 20
1SW 10/10

Ladders - I superset the C&P with Pistols and Weighted Pullups all with the 16kg
C&P L/R 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2
Pistols L/R 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2
Pullups 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2

Swings - 7 minutes
2SW 30
1SW L/R 20/20, 15/15

100 swings in 7 minutes comes down to 14 swings/minute. I'm not sure how well this swing rate correlates to things just yet. Particularly since I'm starting to mix the 24kg kb into things now in other workouts. So I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I'll keep measuring in the meantime.

After swings, went on to Stretch. Back is feeling pretty loose and working once again toward my splits. It's been a long time since I've done a split, probably over 10 years now, but it's nice to see that even now I'm not too far away from them.

That's it for today. Now it's back to work....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Variety Day

Thursday July 19th

Today is Variety day for me, here in Week 1 of my newly started RKC program. If you had asked me last night about today's workout, I would have hinted at maybe taking the day off. I was wiped last night from my Moderate Swings workout and fantasized about doing nothing for the next two days until Saturday rolled around. But when morning came, the weakness weakened and the strength and motivation returned. Although I admit my body WAS asking that I take it somewhat easy for this workout. And as one who has learned from various injuries over the years, it is best to listen to your body when it has something important to say.

Now there is a difference between listening to your body and listening to your mind. The night before it was my mind talking, saying "You're tired, you need rest, you should take it easy." With some sleep under my belt the mind quieted and it allowed my to hear my body for what it truly had to say.

So anyway, enough of these voices in my head... Today's Variety day consisted of the following:

2SW 16kg 20

TGU 16kg L/R 5/5, 5/5, 5/5 (these felt pretty good except that after the last set I did feel like I had a slight strain in the upper right side of my back. since I've started doing these (only a handful of times now) after every workout I feel a slight strain here or there. nothing that stays for long and nothing serious, I guess I'm just hitting weak points in my body that were never addressed before. Last time I felt it in my obliques, today the upper back just outside the scapula area.)

Windmills 16kg L/R 3/3, 3/3, 3/3
(first time doing these! wow, they were tough. first set through I only went as low as getting my free hand over my knee. I was trying to stay very strict on form because the last thing I want is an injury. second set through I was able to comfortably sink a bit deeper. and third set was able to sink down to ankle level. not too bad.)

Hanging Leg Raises 1, 1, 1
(just did three singles today again keeping good form)

Pullups bodyweight 5, 5, 5

Dips bodyweight 5, 5

Burpees 5

I threw in some Burpees at the end of the workout just for the heck of it. Only 5 reps. I'll be building up on these as I'd like them to become more of a staple in my 'exercise arsenal'.

And then I went on to STRETCH!! Everything felt good leaving the gym except for that one spot on my back. I'll keep stretching it out and see how it feels. Will provide update.

That was it for today. Tomorrow if my OFF day!! Week 1 - SUCCESS!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

RKC Week 1 - Moderate Routine

Wed, July 18th

Today is my "Moderate" workout on the RKC program. That means I perform one less rung on my ladders and pace my swings to approximately 75% intensity. Today was an awesome workout! Felt strong and plugged through at a good pace.

2SW 16kg 20
1SW 16kg 5/5

3 Ladders - 2 Rungs Each
C&P 16kg
Pullups 16kg
Pistols 16kg

Swings - 8 minutes
1SW 16kg L/R 10/10
2SW 24kg 15
1SW 24kg 10/10, 6/6, 5/5

Time 29 minutes, 424 calories, avg hr 88% max

Only performing a max of two reps helped me feel strong in the pullups and pistols. Swinging the 24kg today felt MUCH better than it did last workout. Feeling grounded improved, keeping the weight back on my heels rather than getting pulled forward onto my toes. Saturday is the next HEAVY day where we still do 3 ladders but add on another rung. But first come tomorrow, Variety Day!! One day at a time....

RKC Variety Day

Tuesday, July 17th

Today is a "Variety" day in my RKC workout schedule. So I'm going to try mixing it up a bit today to keep it interesting...

2SW 16kg 20
Get Ups (GU) 16kg 5/5 alternating each rep L/R

Hanging Leg Raises 5, 5, 2
Pullups bodyweight 5, 5

I supersetted these since I was hanging onto the bar anyway.

One Arm Pushup (OAP) L/R 5/5, 3/3, 3/3 (did these on an incline bench since I'm not ready to hit the deck with them yet)

Dips 10/5, 35/5, 45/5 x 3

GU L/R 3/3

Burpees 5 x 4

I wanted to finish off with a little something to get the heart rate up again, so I decided to throw in some burpees. Only did sets of 5, as I didn't want to kill myself first time out (and since I haven't done any in probably a year and a half). Overall workout was good, felt strong and now looking forward to my Moderate day coming up tomorrow.

RKC - Light Day

Monday, July 16th
Week 1, Day 2 "Light" Day

Biggest mistake on Sat's workout was not warming up with some two-handed swings. My back tightened up pretty good for the rest of the day Saturday and stayed that way through Sunday. So today, and hereafter, I'll be doing a few swings first before hitting the C&P's.

Since this is my first week and I'm only doing 3 rung ladders on my Heavy day, today I only do single rungs on each ladder. I almost feel like I'm cheating, but hey, things will be getting heavier pretty darn soon. So I'll appreciate it now.

2SW 16kg 30
1SW 16kg 5/5

3 Ladders - 1 Rung each
C&P 16kg
Pullups 16kg
Pistols 16kg

Snatches - 3 minutes (thank you dice)
16kg L/R 5/5 x 4

So I totalled 40 snatches in 3 minutes. I was trying to pace myself to put out 50% intensity. So I guess not too bad?!?!?! Time will tell. I need to get more workouts under my belt before I can judge my tempo.

Time = 13 min, 190 cal, hr 85% max

Short workout!!


RKC Program - Week 1, Day 1

Saturday, July 14th

Today I begin a 12-week kettlebell-centric program. I'll be marrying the Enter the Kettlebell program with the Naked Warrior exercises (and maybe sprinkle in a few other exercises) to see how it can continue to lean-up as well as maintain and build on my strength.

Since today is Saturday, it falls on the "Heavy" day of the program. I won't go into details of the program now, you can either refer to the Enter the Kettlebell book or ask me to explain in another blog. So here it goes:

3 Ladders - 3 rungs each
Clean & Presses (C&P) 16 kg L/R
Pullups: bodyweight
Pistols: 10 lb plate

Swings 10 minutes (roll of the dice)
2-Hand Swing (2SW) 16kg 20
2SW 24kg 15, 10, 10
1-Hand Swing (1SW) 16kg 10/10
1SW 24kg 8/8
2SW 16kg 10

Workout lasted 30 min in total, burned 392 cal, avg hr 82% of max

This was the first time picking up the 24kg bell. Felt heavy! But then again, the 16kg felt just as heavy when I lifted it for the first time two months ago. Good workout. Definitely felt wiped (but good) afterward.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Training Catchup & New Program!!

It's been a while since I last updated my training blog here. Things seem to have exploded at work so there's not much time to get my update in during the day. And working late doesn't help either. By the time I get home, eat something, play with the baby and decompress, it's time to hit the sack. Not that this is at all a bad thing, just not much slack time. I have been able to maintain a regular training schedule on my lunch hours.

About two weeks ago I completed my "Lean Routine". After 10 weeks, I was successful at shedding 8 lbs. Cutting back on about 3500 calories each week and performing mostly whole body exercises while keeping my heart rate elevated successfully allowed me to lose about one pound each week, my initial goal.

Funny thing is, even though the Lean Routine officially came to an end two weeks ago, I have continued to lose another two pounds. Starting out at 174 lbs, I am now down to 164. And as of late, without really trying. To my credit, I have not resorted to immediately stuffing my face with anything that passes by. I have gotten use to eating smaller portions to some extent and feel more comfortable being on the hungry side as opposed to feeling stuffed. At the same time, I still feel just as strong as before and really don't feel like I'm any lighter, also a good thing.

So where does that leave me now? I had initially thought that once the Lean Routine was over I would go back to a heavy, strength cycle. I actually did start that up again, but am feeling myself being pulled into another direction at the moment.

As of today, I will be starting a 12-week RKC/Naked Warrior program. This will be comprised of a 5-day per week program, 3 days of Presses and Swings/Snatches, 2 variety days and intermixed with it I'll be working pullups, pistols, one arm pushups and some ab work. No other traditional weightlifting exercises. With the warm summer weather upon us, this seems to be a more natural cycle to work on. When this is over, we'll be in the midst of autumn at which time a heavy lifting program may seem more appropriate. But we'll have to wait till then to fully assess my direction. For now, it's all about the kettlebells.

Later on today I will perform my HEAVY day of presses and swings. Just this week, my 24 kg bell arrived via UPS. Perfect timing!!

So stay tuned and my first update following today's workout. Since I don't anticipate things at work slowing down anytime soon, I probably won't be posting daily, but will try to post a multi-day update at least once or twice each week. I am excited about this!! I have become so obsessed with these kettlebells its unreal. In a good way!!