Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Swings

Now I've officially completed my first week on my new schedule with my 'new' routine. Since 'discovering' how to correctly clean the kettlebell a few days ago, I feel great performing the Clean & Press and continue to be excited about moving forward with these.

Started out today warming up with the 8kg. This was the kb we bought for my wife to use. I started out with the 16kg. I like the way it feels warming up with the smaller bell. I feels good, is less jarring particularly when your body isn't exactly awake yet and gets things moving nicely. I think I might be investing in a 12kg to give me something just a bit heavier, while still being lighter than the 16. So the warmup was about 40 2SW and some Halos. Then performed some Halos with the 16kg.

On to the WO:
16kg C&P - 1/1, 2/2, 3/3
Only performed one ladder today, still easing in to things.

16kg 2SW - 30
16kg 1SW - 20/20

BW Pullups - 3, 3

Left shoulder started feeling a bit tired at the end. I actually started another set of the 1SW, but didn't feel strong in the joint so I ended the workout there. But all in all, after this week, I feel GREAT!! And looking forward to starting again on Monday.

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend. We're expected a beautiful one here in NY. Around 70 degrees each day and sunny. Beautiful early fall weather!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chalk This Up to Week One

Well I did it. Week one of early rising and getting in my kettlebell workouts has been accomplished! I actually thought this would be much harder than it was. But I think my excitement at being able to go through a full kb workout each day without interruption or emergent crises (during the work day) helped fuel my motivation and assisted me in getting out of bed each morning.

So four consecutive days are now under my belt. I had two Swing Days and two Variety Days. Tomorrow will be a day off and Saturday will be another Swing Day (and the Heavy Day of the week). This really feels good though. Getting this workout under my belt has also seemed to help me with my road rage in the mornings. Knowing that I have done what I need to do for me for the day, allows me to take my time getting into the office. No thinking about getting in early enough to justify my 'sneaking out' to the gym at lunch. The psychology of it all is amazing. My wife seems to enjoy it as well, as my early rising lets me empty the dishwasher for her before she even gets out of bed! hahah

So today was Variety Day, here's what I dished up:

Warmup with 8kg some swings and halos

16kg TGU for 5 minutes

16kg Tactical Lunge - 5/5, 5/5

8kg Pistols - 3/3

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

Pullups - 5

8kg Hot Potato - 20, 20

Amazingly, I started out the week with a lot of pain in my rotator cuffs. Sleeping was a bit uncomfortable as I like to have an arm under the pillow while I sleep. But I noticed yesterday that the last few nights have been pain-free. Could one week of this type of workout make such a difference? I sure hope so. Let's see how it goes long-term. I think that's it for today. Next post over the weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Now We're Rolling

Day 3 of Week 1 - was again (sometimes I amaze myself) able to get my butt out of bed at 5:40am to get in my Early Bird Workout. I got to bed around 10:30pm and was pretty tired yesterday, so I had my doubts about this morning. But I've learned that as long as I mentally prepare myself throughout the prior day, I can pretty much do what I plan. I have learned that if I only decide at the time I'm actually going to bed that my intent doesn't 'stick' as well. It's much easier for me to sleep through the snooze. But by visualizing waking up early and performing my next workout throughout the day before, I create a much stronger self-motivation, which seems to work for me.

Today was Push/Pull Day according to Enter the Kettlebell. Next week I will probably start the actual program with ladders and cycling of intensity. This week is break-in week. And so far so good. Tomorrow will be my second Variety Day and Friday will be my day off! So here goes...

Warmup with 8kg some 2SW, Halos and Cleans (I'm still working on the form of my Cleans, much better than before though)

16kg 2SW - 30

16kg C&P - 1, 2, 3 (only performed one ladder today)
16 kg Cleans - 3/3

Pullups - 3, 3

16kg 1SW - 20/20

16kg SN - 10/10, 10/10

I decided it was time to throw in some snatches. They felt pretty good. I'll have to wait and see how my shoulders feel later on. I'm also holding back on working with the 24kg bell until I'm sure my shoulder is strengthened enough to handle it.

OK, time to get cleaned up and head to the office!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day 2 - Early Bird Workout

Tuesday, Sept 25

Woke up at 5:40am again today. I'm trying to get into the habit of waking up extra early in the mornings to squeeze in my workout before work. And since I have an hour commute, I need to be sure to get my butt out of bed extra early. Until we put the clocks back to standard time, it's now dark out when I wake up. Not too bad, but makes you realize the summer is just about behind us.

Today was scheduled to be my Variety Day. I'm now switching back to the Enter the Kettlebell workout plan - although this week is "ease back into things" week, so I'm not really counting reps yet and going extra easy. Not only to allow my muscles to acclimate, but also my mind, so as to get used to waking early and moving early before eating.

Being an extra easy Variety Day, we accomplished the following:

Warmup with some 8kg 2-hand swings and halos, followed by 16kg 2-hand swings halos.

TGU 16kg for 5 minutes, alternating arms

Tactical Lunges 16kg, 2 sets

Hot Potato 8kg, 2 sets

That was it for this morning. Felt good afterward. Tomorrow we return to some Clean & Presses and Swings.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Forlorn Conclusion and.... I Got It!!

Monday, September 24th

Well, work continues to get busier and busier each and every day. My lunchhour trips to the gym have become less and less frequent. I came to the sad conclusion over the weekend that I will have to give up my hopes of lunchour workouts which include squatting and deadlifting. So for now, I will plan to get up early in the mornings and workout at home... with my kettlebells and power tower (pullup and dip station).

I decided to order the Enter the Kettlebell DVD as well. Since I started with these kettlebells way back in May (my 6 month anniversary isn't too far away) I have never felt comfortable performing cleans. Something just isn't right. I've read about the technique, watched videos on YouTube, yet never seemed to 'get it'. So I figured it was time to watch the master. Plus, since this will now become my fitness method of choice, best to get moving on the right foot and try not to develop any bad habits. So as of this morning, the DVD is in transit.

No on to today's workout. The alarm went off at 5:30am while it was still dark out. I rose from bed at 5:39am, when the first of the snoozes went off. Not used to working the bells first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I intended to make today's routine relatively easy. Actually, all of this week I hope to make easy, as a way of helping my body adjust to the new sleep/wake/exercise pattern. Therefore I decided to start things off really, really easy by swinging an 8kg bell.

After doing a set of 2 hand swings to help wake me up, I decided to try cleaning again. Now in front of a mirror and using the light kb, I tried to mimic Pavel's rack position. For the longest time I could never end up in that elbow in, in front of the body position with the bell. Well this morning something I read (probably a hundred times by now) about imagining performing the clean as an uppercut. Once that sunk in, viola!! It now makes sense! I Got It!! All this time, what a subtle difference, but what a difference!! I am so psyched now. Wow wee!! Cool.

Now that I am quite excited with myself and excited for my future workouts, here is what I accomplished today.

8kg 2SW - 40
8kg C&P - 6/6
16kg C&P - 3/3
16kg 2SW - 20
16kg 1SW - 10/10
Pullups - 5, 5

Not too bad for a first day. Tomorrow, we start with TGU's and then sprinkle in a little of this and a little of that. If I can get through this week rising early each day, I'll be good to go. Momentum is everything. Stay tuned for more....

Friday Sept 21st

16kg kettlebell day

TGU - 5 minutes

2SW - 30
1SW - 20/20
Cleans - 5/5
1SW - 15/15

Tuesday, Sept 18th

At they gym today...

OAP - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5
Pullups - 5, 5

Dips (25lbs) - 5, 5, 5
Pullups - 3

Lying Tri Extensions - 50/6, 6

Pushdowns - 60/6, 6

Monday, Sept 17th

Back at the gym during lunch. These trips are getting more and more sporadic...

Front Squats - 95/5, 135/5, 155/5

Deadlifts - 135/8, 185/6, 225/5, 5, 5

Pullups (25lbs) - 4, 3, 3

Finished off with some rotator cuff exercises.

Sunday, Sept 16th

16kg workout today

My right rotator cuff has been a bit tender lately, so I'm easing up on it a bit with these workouts.

2SW - 20
1SW - 15/15
SN - 5/5
1SW - 10/10
C&P - 5/5
1SW - 10/10

15 min, 189 calories, 80% max hr

Thursday, Sept 13

Made it to the gym today on my lunch hour. Weighed in at 164 lbs today.

Front Squat - 45/10, 95/5, 135/5

Deadlifts - 135/8, 185/5, 225/5

Pullups - 5, 5, 5
OAP - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5 (I'm still assisting with my opposite hand on these - keeping it raises and off to the side)

Dips - 5, 5, 5
Pistols (10lbs) 1/1, 1/1, 1/1

Saturday, Sept 8

24kg workout today

2SW - 15
1SW - 10/10

23min, 295 calories, 81% max hr

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

200 Snatches in 10 min?? Not even close...

Tuesday, September 4th

After reading Rif's entry about laddering his swings to prepare for 200 snatches in 10 minutes, I decided to baseline myself to see where I sat and help prepare a plan to go from A to B.

Getting to the gym, I strapped on my Polar heart rate monitor, grabbed my 24kg bell and got to work.

24kg 2SW: 15 (my warmup)
24kg 1SW: 10/10
(This was it for my 10 minutes, 100 swings. But I continued on...)

I decided to throw in two additional sets at the end to provide an increase in total work from previous practice. Then moved on to a few different activities...

Pullups (bodyweight): 5, 5, 5
Pistols (10lb plate): 5/5
OAP (with second hand assisting): 5/5

Total workout 27 minutes, 396 calories, avg hr 86% max, weighing in at 164 lbs.

So..... I have quite a bit to go to get anywhere near 200 swings, let alone snatches, in 10 minutes. But then again, I only started working out with the bells in May, less than 4 months. And since I'm in no rush and am having fun, I'm looking to continue my progress, slow and steady without injuries. Lots more fun ahead of me!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

Sunday, September 2nd

24kg 2SW: 15
24kg 1SW: 10/10
Pistols: bodyweight 3/3

Today I wanted to start focusing on working with the 24kg bell. And after reading about Rif and his 200 swings in 10 minutes, I thought I'd right away. I didn't time myself today and I didn't try to get anywhere near the 200, but I thought this would be a good start. So 100 one-arm swings today. I felt pretty good performing these although I can definitely feel my left side being weaker than my right, but I'm sure that will self-correct the more I practice. I don't notice it when using the 16kg, so it appears to be just a matter of strength and conditioning.

115 swings in total (incl. 2-hand warmup) for 6,072 lbs.