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.