Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pressing Matters

This morning I had some pressing matters to attend to - Clean & Pressing matters, that is.

It's been a while since I've done any regular Pressing, but now that the pain in my forearms is dissipating, I need to get strong on these again. So today, I decided to work on some ladders with the 24kg. And to keep it interesting, I interspersed it with some 1-Handed Swings. You'll see that I mixed things up without any real thought behind them, all driven by how I felt after each working set. So try to keep up...

Clean & Press: 16kg - 5/5
1-Hand Swing: 16kg - 25/25

Clean & Press: 24kg - 1/1, 2/2
1-Hand Swing: 24kg - 10/10
Clean & Press: 24kg - 3/3, 1/1, 2/2
1-Hand Swing: 24kg - 10/10

Clean & Press: 24kg - 3/3
1-Hand Swing: 24kg - 10/10

Clean & Press: 24kg - 1/1, 2/2
1-Hand Swing: 24kg - 10/10

Clean & Press: 24kg - 3/3
1-Hand Swing: 24kg - 10/10

Completed 3 Ladders, 3 Rungs each with the 24kg, with 100 Swings mixed in, not counting the warmup sets. Not too bad. Funny when I started off, my right shoulder felt out of groove. Then somewhere around my second set or so, I held the kb up top and gave the shoulder a good stretch and things all of a sudden felt greased, excellent!

Today is also the last day of April, so I took a pic of my Workout Calendar. Looks like I hit 21 sessions within the 30 days of April. 2 out of every 3 days had some kind of workout session, excellent ratio!! And it also amazing how differently I feel, how my outlook has improved now that I have FINALLY figured out the source of my forearm pain. And with that pain getting less and less as the days go by, my spirits are raised tremendously. I feel like I can fly again!!!

OK, time to hit the shower! Swing 'em high y'all!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

32kg Turkish Getups

I will NOT be beaten!!

Just performed 1 Getup on each side with the 32kg.

The 32kg definitely feels lighter in the afternoon than it does at 5:30am!! That's some weird physics if you ask me.

I couldn't let the bell beat me. Now I am motivated to grease the groove with these. My goal is to be able to do this in my sleep!

Playing with Kettlebells

Today turned out to be not too hardcore of a workout, but more of a play-workout. I was in the mood to try out some new things, so the session won't appear to be too intense, although at times it did feel that way. So I re-used my tape from Sunday and got going...

Getup: 24kg - 1/1; 32kg - didn't want to budge
I think attempting these with the 32kg first thing in the morning ain't happening right now

1-Arm Jerk - 1st Half of Movement: 24kg - 5/5
Practiced the beginning motion as per Steve Cotter's Encyclopedia of Kettlebell Lifting DVD, this is where you perform the Jerk to where the bell only raises to about eye level

1-Arm Clean & Jerk: 24kg - 5/5

Bottom-Up Clean: 12kg - 1L/2R
Playing with these, but the tape on my hands made it tough to get a good grip

2-Hand Swing: 32kg - 30

Clean & Press: 24kg - 4L/2R
Weird, shoulders had no strength, then again, it's been a while since I've performed these in any regular fashion

Lastly, cooled down with some Shoulder Rotator with the 12kg. And that was it!


On another note, a very good friend who was kind enough to design some logos for me (for Kettlebells NY) dropped them off last night for me to review. He gave me a selection of about 9 to look at. They are ALL AWESOME!! It's going to be hard to pick one. I might have to pick a few!! I'll post them once I get electronic copies and of course I'll have to use at least one on my website. So cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Just a Little Z

Not Zzzzzz's.... Z-Health.

Ran through the R-Phase movements this morning. Probably too fast, but I figure it's better than none at all. Lots of crackling in the upper back and shoulder blades. I will eventually get over to meet with the (somewhat) local certified instructor.

Hands are OK. The skin is starting to dry now so it's doing a lot of cracking on me, no matter how much or often I rub in the Corn Husker's Lotion. Oh well, I'll survive.

That's it. Easy morning. Time to get moving and head into the office.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Taped Hands

Not wanting to miss a weekend workout, I taped my hands up using Rif's suggested method.

And it worked like a charm!! Although my first attempt today at this sort of taping didn't look nearly as neat as on Rif's post, it worked extremely well and I was very happy with the outcome. I will now be keeping a roll of sport tape close by at all times.

I chose not to Snatch today, but gave myself a close-to-Brett Jones workout otherwise. This is what today looked like...

Double Clean: 2x 20kg - 10
2-Hand Swing: 32kg - 20
Double Clean: 2x 20kg - 10
Windmill: 24kg - 5/5
Double Clean & Squat: 2x 20kg - 10
Clean & Press: 24kg - 5/5

Double Overhead Holds for 30sec: 2x20kg - did this 2 times through with 30sec break in between

That's it for today. Not sure if tomorrow will be a workout morning or a rest morning. Rest might be a better option to give my hands a day of recovery, so as to hit the Snatches again on Tuesday. We'll see. =)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Found Chalk!

But I lost some skin...

Howie finally got himself some chalk,
And took his bells out for a walk.
His hands would finally stay dry,
As he hoisted those bells to the sky.
One rep, two rep, this ain't no joke
Until his hands started to smoke.
Maybe I should stop? Finish your set!
And that's when handle and raw skin met.

I hope you liked my poem. But that's how it really happened.

Session overall looked like this...

20kg - 5/5
24kg - 10/10, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

It was during the 4th set of 24kg Snatches that I lost skin on both hands. Just under the callouses at the base of my ring fingers. On both hands, in the same spots. At least I'm symmetrical. Since this is my first time with the chalk, maybe I used to much? Maybe this is common? Or maybe the chalk I'm using is too 'sticky'?

I called a few Fitness Equipment places nearby and no one carried chalk. But one recommended I go to Eastern Mountain Sports and pick up climber's chalk, which I did. Maybe this is a different consistency from lifting chalk? I don't know.

So after my Snatches were prematurely cut off (I had planned to do at least one more set to reach 100), I performed the following to finish off the session...

Overhead Hold: 32kg - L/R
Farmer Walk: 24kg - L/R
Rack Walk: 32kg - L/R
Overhead Hold: 32kg - L/R

Performed these in small circles around the yard. Time to go pick up some band aids...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Semi-new Blogger

Hey everyone, just wanted to point out we have another Party Member to our north (for those of us in the U.S.).

Paula, has been logging in some decent sessions and is moving some good weight for a lady. Just another one of those strong women who makes us men feel inferior. =)

Check out her space.

Kettlebells For Sale

Mark this day down, it was today that I ordered my first DragonDoor Kettlebell!!

I ordered a 24kg.

Once it arrives, then I plan to sell both my Perform Better 24kg and 32kg bells and replace them with DragonDoor bells.

Anyone interested? You can have them for list price. But you're gonna have to come and get them. Let me know.

Swings & Squats

Good session this morning, even though it was tough getting out of bed. I had to bargain with myself... "If you get up now and get this session in, then we can sleep a bit later tomorrow, take tomorrow as a rest day, and then we'll be strong for a weekend workout (or two)."

And so I did. Very basic alternating sets today, mostly between Swings and Squats. This is what it looked like...

2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 20
Overhead Squat: 24kg - 3/3
2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 25
2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 20
Clean: 32kg - 1/1 (would have done more but my hands argued and won)
Overhead Squat: 24kg - 4/4
2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 25
Overhead Hold: 32kg - R/L (didn't time this, just held it for comfort)
2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 25
Double Overhead Hold: 2x16kg
2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 20

Total Swings with the 32kg in this session, 135. I think this is a PR.

That's it for today! Swing 'em high y'all!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Getup & Snatch

Today's session was a bit more limited than I had hoped. Performed the following...

Getups: 24kg - 1/1, 32kg - 1/1

Getting the 32kg up was more difficult this morning than my last attempts. Maybe because it was so early in the morning. But I didn't give up and finally brought up some explosiveness that was needed to raise the bell (and myself).

16kg - 5/5
20kg - 5/5
24kg - 10/10, 5/5/5/5

Stopped here today. Wasn't feeling it this morning. And I've realized that Snatching inside, being rather warm, my hands sweat more, making it difficult to hold onto the bell, which causes me to try to decelerate the bell on the downswing. Just what I am trying not to do!!

So today I will order some chalk for my indoor work. In the meantime, I need to figure out how to get some better ventilation going or just get my butt outside for these. That's it for today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Recovery

I decided that I would play today by ear, whether or not it would be a workout day or not. Woke up and my forearms were super sore (DOS) and tight. So decided to get up somewhat early and loosen things up a bit.

Didn't do too much. RKC Shoulder Rotator with an 8kg bell. RKC Arm Bar with 12kg. Brought out my thumper to work the forearm muscles a bit. Here's a great pic of the forearm muscles that I am dealing with...

You can check out the site, point to each individual muscle and it will tell you it's name.
From what I can tell it appears my soreness with the Brachioradialis and Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus. And although stretching seems to help, I'm finding it's a very difficult muscle to get a good stretch into (too bad the elbow doesn't bend 360 degrees, huh?).
And as I type, I also have an ice pack alternating between arms. Woe is me...
OK, another great development in my Snatch practice over the past few days was the introduction of Mike Mahler's described corkscrew descent from the top position. Until I have been pretty much throwing the kb straight down from the top. After watching Mike's DVD, he shows how to turn the wrist at the top just as you start your descent.
This technique has made a tremendous difference in my hands. Last week, I couldn't do Snatches two days in a row because on the second day my hands screamed "No!!!!". This technique really helps save my hands and appears it will allow me to increase my numbers. I didn't even think about my hands while at Steve Freides' workshop, one day after my Personal RKC Snatch Test. It wasn't until afterward did I think, 'Hey, my hands were OK!!". Another great feeling of development and accomplishment.
Well that's about it for today. Tomorrow I start increasing the total volume of my Snatch sessions. Have a great day everyone.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Steve Freides Workshop

Attended Steve's workshop today. I had intended to make this an active recovery day after yesterday's self imposed Snatch Test. I brought with me to the workshop a 20kg and a 24kg bell. Thinking to myself, "I'll work with the 20kg today mostly." I was tired from yesterday's snatches, forearms were sore.

Well, once you get going, it's hard to hold back. Steve put us through our paces. I was swinging, cleaning and pressing the 24kg, performed some double 24kg cleans. And at the end of the two hours, performed 7 minutes of 24kg Snatches 5/5 on the minute. So another 70 Snatches as a follow-up to yesterday's work.

We also practiced front squats, overhead squats and pistols. As well as a slew of stretches and joint mobility work. A great two hours! I felt strong and the blood was pumping. Steve was also kind enough to give me an AKC primer on their version of the swing, clean, snatch and jerk. So now I won't be walking in blind to their Fitness Cert next month.

With that said, tomorrow I'm taking the day off from training! =)

I need to figure out a good Snatch routine to start building on my numbers without going crazy. I'm going to use Steve's RKC Snatch Preparation Protocol as a basis. So all in all, a very good weekend for all things kettlebells!! Swing 'em high y'all!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wanted: Professional Counter

Today was the day I decided to see how I was coming along with my RKC Snatch Test numbers. I realize that this might have been a little hasty, since I have not been training Snatches heavily since probably about January. And the little Snatches that I have been doing have been with the 16kg and the 20kg.

But, with the help of friends, I have motivated myself enough over the past few days to get outside and see how I fared with the 24kg.

But first let's back up just a bit. Since my last post, Thursday morning, I did grease the groove a bit Thursday evening with 2 sets of 5/5 Snatches with the 24kg. Yesterday, I did a few sets during the day of 5/5 with the 16kg. I have been focusing on the descent of the Snatch, using more of a corkscrew release along with better hinging and follow-through of my torso at the bottom.

Not to be outdone by the Ladies of RKC, I also tested myself with a 32kg Getup last night. Using my right (dominant) arm, I performed one Getup just for fun. And it was easier than I expected. Up until now I had only practiced my Getups with the 24kg. I guess it's time to bump it up a bit!

OK, back to today... I have captured my workout on video again. You'll first see me perform a 32kg Getup with my left arm. This is the first time I have ever attempted this. I hope you enjoy, it's history in the making. =)

Next you'll see me perform what I thought was 40 consecutive Snatches with the 24kg!! Only after watching the video, I miscounted and only performed 39!!!!!!!! I so could have completed one more rep!!! I need a professional counter!

Let me just say, this is an awesome feeling. I have had this mental fear within me for the longest time that the RKC Snatch Test was going to be my downfall. Last time I tested myself, I gassed out at 34. Then all the troubles with my forearms sprung up - so I stopped Snatching all together. This is awesome! Now I can relax and start having fun with the bells again. I have definitely put too much pressure on myself in recent weeks.

Having accomplished this today, is great. Particularly, since I haven't been training the Snatch!! They might not be all pretty, but they were regulation. It's amazing how everything else just carries into one another. This is going to be an amazing adventure. RKC lookout!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

AKC Fitness Certification

I've registered to attend the American Kettlebell Club's Fitness Certification being held here in NY on May 24th. Being held over the course of one day, right here in my own backyard, was an opportunity I thought I shouldn't pass up. I am only a bit familiar with the AKC methods and this being fitness-oriented rather than girevoy sport-oriented, it had a greater appeal to jump in feet first and learn some more about kettlebells. So it should be cool.

I'm still registered and planning to attend the RKC Cert in August, being held at UCLA. And all of my current training is focused on being strong for the event. With that, I received some advice from Lauren Brooks, RKC to go back to swinging the 32kg for reps to help activate the hips more while de-emphasizing the knees. So that's what today's session consisted of...

2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 20, 30, 30, 20, 25 (total of 125 swings)

Last night was I got home from work I had a package waiting for me. Franklin Herman and I agreed to swap kettlebell DVD's. He was to lend me his Mike Mahler DVD and I was to lend him my Brett Jones DVD. Well, to my joy of joys not only did Franklin send the Mahler DVD over, but also included a surprise - the Steve Cotter Encyclopedia of Kettlebell Lifting DVD! I felt like it was Christmas. Thank you Franklin!! This is going to be a great weekend!

OK, time to rest up and get to work. Swing 'em high y'all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quick Evening Swings

Got home this evening and my mood was much improved from this morning. I have a lot going on personally these days, so that stress along with this nagging pain in my forearms finally started to get to me. I left for work this morning in an awful mood. Thanks to some good friends, who helped cheer me up and get me motivated, during the day, I wanted to squeeze in one quick set of swings with the 32kg.

So while dinner was in the oven, I quickly ran down to the Bell Room, and banged out one set...

2-Hand Swings: 32kg - 30

Plan to take tomorrow off, but will pick up with some heavy swings again Thursday morning. Then Friday off. Maybe do some 24kg Snatches on Saturday....

And.... Break!

Taking a break today. Got up and intended to practice Snatching. Forearms are hurting today. I feel a bit deflated. Need a break. I did a bit of Z-Health so that I could say I did something. Maybe a vacation is in order! =)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Brett Jones RKC Cert Prep #1 (Again, Sorta)

After receiving very good feedback on my Snatch technique over the weekend, I decided to place my focus largely on 2-Handed Swings today. I intended to focus on increased hip action, with less leg action, meaning I tried not to bend my knees too much.

I was a bit tired this morning and my forearms were surprising a bit sore. I suppose carrying a 2-year old around doesn't give my forearms as much of a rest as I would like. So this morning's session was rather brief, but good.

2-Hand Swing: 24kg - 20
Palm Press: 16kg - 5/5
2-Hand Swing: 24kg - 15
Getups: 24kg - 3/3
2-Hand Swing: 24kg - 15
Snatch: 16kg - 5/5
2-Hand Swing: 24kg - 15

As a cool down, I performed a Double Overhead Hold with 2x12kg for 30 sec, rested in Rack Position for 30 sec while performing the Russian Karate Twist, before another 30 sec round of Overhead Holds. Lastly 2 times through each arm with the RKC Shoulder Rotator with an 8kg bell.

I could see and feel the difference during my Swings as I tried not to use the legs to drive too much of the motion. This will be something to get used to. Same time I tried to focus on feeling the bell get weightless in the bottom position before restarting my swing. I did feel a little flopping back there a few times, but then really tried to reconnect with the bell to minimize that.

Same with the few Snatches that I did today. Tried not to squat so much at the bottom position. In doing this, I'm finding that the bell is then forced to stay very close to you at the bottom position. Boys best protect the jewels!

So all in all, a good session. Looking forward to trying out on more Snatches tomorrow. Have a great day all!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Snatch Feedback Please

It's Saturday afternoon. The temperature is in the low 70's. It's humid and looks like it might rain some more. But before it does, I grabbed by kettlebells and headed outside for some Snatching. I also brought along the video camera to record myself. And this is for two reasons, (1) to get an objective view of my form and (2) to solicit comments and suggestions on how I might improve.

It's funny when you watch yourself for the first time. I make a lot of funny faces. It looks like I might be in pain during some of this. And I am somewhat. The forearms are still sore and the left shoulder still makes rice crispies noises when I hold the kb in the overhead position. This doesn't hurt but I seem to focus in on it a lot to ensure I don't do anything that might injury me.

So, you'll see some clips of my Snatching first the 20kg and then the 24kg. I clips are a bit out of sync with the actual workout as I thought it better to show things in the order presented.

My workout as a whole looked like this...

1-Hand Swing / High Pull / Snatch: 16kg - 10 / 5 / 5 - once through Left, then Right

Snatch: 20kg - 10/9 (I thought it was 10/10 until I watched the video)

Snatch: 24kg - 5/5

Rack Walk: 32kg switched sides once through
Overhead Walk: 32kg same

Snatch: 20kg - 10/10/5/5 (this is where the video starts)

Although it might not look it, the 20kg Snatches feel pretty good to me. I intend to build these up a bit more before moving back up to the 24kg for volume.

Also don't mind my touching my face in the video, there were a lot of gnats outside flying around in my face the whole time. And my hands were getting sweaty too, as you'll see me wiping my hands on my shorts and shirt. I might need to invest in some lifting chalk!

Please, comments ... =)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Switch It Up A Little

After this morning's workout, I've decided that I am going to switch up my routine a bit. I like the Brett Jones routine and will continue working it, but on a different schedule.

I'm thinking of trying a 2-day on, 1-day off routine. Every two day block will consist of a Brett Jones day and then a Snatch day. I need to start re-focusing on my Snatch numbers and I'm getting a bit nervous as the RKC Cert seems like its not too far off now. This schedule should give me enough time to work on my Snatches while giving my shoulders, forearms and hands enough in-between time to handle it.

We'll see. But for now, that's the plan. Which means this weekend, we Snatch!

If It's Friday, It's Brett Jones Workout #1 Day

Here we are, Friday again. Time sure flies when you're logging in kettlebell sessions.

Today I was scheduled for BJ#1, so to mix things up I choose to perform it with two 12kg bells (mostly). And it went a little something like this...

Swings: 2x 12kg - 15
Clean & Press: 2x 12kg - 8
Swings: 2x 12kg - 15
Clean & Front Squat: 2x 12kg - 8
Swings: 2x 12kg - 15
Getup: 24kg - 3/3
Swings: 2x 12kg - 15
Snatch: 12kg - 8/8
Swings: 2x 12kg - 15

Ran through that once then moved on to the following:

Fighter Pushups: 10, 10, 10
16kg - 5/5, 5/5
20kg - 4/4
24kg - 3/3
Double Overhead Hold with 12kg

Thanks to Rif, I watched Mark Toomey perform his Snatches on his video clip (below) and thought to myself, "I don't think I look like that when I Snatch." He has a very smooth, integrated look when viewed from the side.

He talks about initiating your Snatches at the hips. I think I have been initiating my movement either at the shoulder or at the elbow. So that was my focus today. And I really felt uncoordinated! But I'll keep at it and hopefully get to the point where I won't have to think so hard about it, but just let my body do it.

That's it for today. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me, so I'm not sure what my workout will look like, if at all. I guess we'll just have to wait and see! TGIF!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Moving Forward, Lightly

Today's session was another simple one. Work on some Snatches (and wait to see how the shoulder and forearms feel afterward).

Getup: 24kg - 3/3

1-Hand Swing: 20kg - 10/10

Snatch: 16kg - 20/20*, 8/8

* I was able to perform 20 consecutively on the Right side, but made the decision to put the bell down after number 17 on the Left side to wipe the sweat off as I was afraid I was going to send the thing flying with another rep. And I was sooo close to getting that 20 was well.

My intent today was to Snatch a bit more with the 20kg. I actually started to but my hands screamed at me to stop. Didn't do more than 3 on the left side. Opted to go lighter today. This might have to be the tactic until they build up some more endurance.

That's it and that's all. Tomorrow is 'rest' day. I'll probably throw in some Resilient movements tomorrow to keep loose and of course continue the regular stretching. Gotta go!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Snatch Practice

Today was all about practicing my Snatches. My forearms have been a bit sore after Sunday's 3rd-day-in-a-row Brett Jones RKC Prep Workout, but I'm doing what I can to keep making progress while at the same time keeping healthy.

So today, I started off light, then increased the weight, while reducing the volume, to see how well I can handle bumping up in the coming sessions. Here's what it looked like...

1-Hand Swing: 16kg - 10/10/10/10

Snatch with Pause at the Top:
16kg - 15/15
20kg - 7/7
24kg - 3/3
12kg - 15/15

Shoulders felt good doing these. Breathing was good. Forearms a bit tired. I gave them a good stretch immediately after and will continue throughout the day. Maybe a bit of ice too. Hopefully, they will feel ok tomorrow for a little more. If they feel ok, I will increase the volume with the 20kg a bit. If they hold up, I can easily see making the RKC Snatch numbers using this method. I'd like to be able to go back to timed sets, but not just yet, moving quickly definitely puts more of a strain on my forearms that the paused sets.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday, Brett Jones Prep Workout #3

A bit overcast and chilly today, nothing like yesterday's taste of Spring. So I opted to stay indoors today, but was intent on keeping the same "open" feeling that I had yesterday.

None the worse for wear today, so I opted to use 20kg bells for the start of today's session. I then mixed things up a bit to accommodate my first third-day-in-a-row workout. Forearms were just a bit sore this morning, so as you'll see I adjusted things a bit when it came to Presses. Here's today's session...

Brett Jones RKC Cert Prep Workout #3

Clean & Front Squat: Double 20kg - 10
1-Hand Swings: 20kg - 10/10
Clean & Front Squat: Double 20kg - 10
Palm Press: 12kg - 10/10
Clean & Front Squat: Double 20kg - 10
Getups: 20kg - 3/3
Clean & Front Squat: Double 20kg - 10
Snatch: 20kg - 5/5
Clean & Front Squat: Double 20kg - 10

Once through today. As you see I dropped the weight on the Presses and performed Palm Presses to give the forearms a bit of a break today.

Again, the Snatches felt really good. I made sure that I did not skimp on my motion at the bottom of the swing. Kept a straight arm on the downswing, rotated the hand and really tried to drive the bell back through my legs. This is a much bigger movement than what I have been doing up until now. As I get stronger and better conditioned, maybe I'll tighten it up, but for now, I'm sticking with this.

Rest of today will consist of some stretching and maybe some foam roller work. Tomorrow is a rest day. Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

An Almost Spring Day

57 degrees F outside today. Sunny with just a few clouds. This is an almost perfect Spring day. It was a bit cool, but once I started moving, it actually turned out to be the perfect temperature. That is because today I brought the Brett Jones Prep Workout #2 outside today.

My forearms and shoulders were feeling good this morning. Again, when I say good, it means not worse. I still have pain in both forearms. It just might be starting to improve, but not enough for me to be really sure just yet. At the same time, I continue to train. And as long as I don't make things worse, I'm happy.

So today I decided to bring with me two 16kg bells. We were going to change things up just a bit to accommodate being outside today. Here's what today's session looked like...

BJ#2 with Double 16kg bells

Walking Presses: 5/5
Double Swings: 10
Walking Presses: 5/5
Clean & Front Squat: 10
Walking Presses: 5/5
Windmills: 5/5
Walking Presses: 5/5
Snatches: 10/10
Walking Presses: 5/5

Rack Walk with Double 16kg

Snatches: 10/10

Rack Walk with Double 16kg

The Walking Presses were performed from the Double Rack position. With each step I pressed with the same arm.

All movements that required a Clean were performed with just a single Clean to get into position.

I substituted Windmills for Getups since I didn't want to be rolling around in the dirt.

Snatches were performed with a 3-breath hold at the top of each rep. Being outside I could really exaggerate the downswing on these. I preferred to use a straight arm coming down, turning the thumb under and really tried to hike the bell behind me. These really felt great. Maybe training in my little space indoors caused a bit of reluctance to "go for it" on each rep? Not sure. All I can say is that I am glad the warm weather is returning!

Performing this while walking took me almost across the entire length of my yard. I can see that I'll be working up to multiple laps. I considered it today, but wanted instead to do a few more Snatches.

So tomorrow I am scheduled for the BJ#3 workout. I still haven't made it to this one yet, so let's cross out fingers that my schedule works out for me. Swing 'em high y'all!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Brett Jones RKC Cert Prep #1

Woke up yesterday morning and noticed my forearms were a bit more sore than usual. (Funny how one gets used to pain.) Therefore I will need to either maintain or reduce the same volume of my 16kg Snatches next week. Since I'll be doing some small Snatch work in the Brett Jones sessions, I might be able to give the same volume another try and see if I've adapted during the rest of the week.

I woke up late today, so rushed through the BJ#1 circuit one time with a single 16kg bell.

BJ#1: single 16kg

1-Hand Swings: 12/12
Clean & Military Press: 8/8
1-Hand Swings: 12/12
Clean & Front Squat: 8/8
1-Hand Swings: 12/12
Getups: 4/4
1-Hand Swings: 12/12
Snatches: 8/8
1-Hand Swings: 12/12

On the Clean & Presses, I just Cleaned once and then performed all of my presses from the rack. I didn't want to tax the forearms too much. Similarly, with the Clean & Front Squat, single clean followed by multiple squats.

I have discovered two things as of late...

(1) Pressing from my centerline, straight up out of the rack position, does not cause me forearm pain. As soon as I rotate out, any little bit, to more resemble a typical dumbbell press, the forearms make it known that they do not like it.

(2) Every so often, and probably more often than I realize, during my Snatches, I will not go completely into the hole, but will decelerate the bell a little short and at the same time, bend at the elbow to put on those 'brakes'. I noticed this today. (And I was not pleased with myself at all.) Never realized it. And it's not every rep. This will be a major focus for me. When this occurred it was very stark at how different that position looked versus the bottom position of my swing. Looked like two different animals.

I am now running late and so I gotta bolt. TGIF!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ever So Bigger Snatches

Today was a tough one getting out of bed. We had a very nice, comfortable, cool night here in NY. Temperature was just right so that it made you want to stay under the covers and enjoy the contrast between the cool air on your face and the warmth of the blankets.

But that was not to be had for me. I had Snatching to do!

Each morning as I start to rise, my attention always immediately shifts to my shoulders. A conditioned response from years of shoulder injuries and their associated discomforts. As of late, I then scan down each arm and checking in with each forearm. I flex my elbows a bit, then rotate my wrists, checking for the "state of injury". I wasn't sure what to expect this morning as a result of yesterday's Snatches. Yesterday was the first day in a long while that I performed anything that resembled a real Snatch workout. This morning I was pleasantly surprised to find no new pains! Forearms still hurt from my ongoing saga, but yesterday's session did not make them any worse. And shoulders feel good! Hurray!! My lower back is pretty tight, but considering how long I spent holding a kettlebell overhead yesterday, it's understandable. And it's nothing that won't be fixed with some stretching.

So today I had planned to perform a similar Snatch workout as yesterday, only to increase the weight and decrease the volume. And here's the result...

Snatch: 16kg - 1 rep every 8 seconds - 15/15

That's it. Four minutes in total, 30 Snatches. Once I completed this round, I was still feeling good enough that I considered going through a shorter round using the 20kg. But that wasn't part of today's plan. First, I have to see how I feel tomorrow morning. This is going to be a long and steady process for me. I'm not going to get overzealous again and risk more injuries. Slow and steady. Only 120 days to RKC, the uphill climb has just begun.

Tomorrow is a rest day. On Friday I start the Brett Jones Prep Sessions again. Things are looking promising. Swing 'em high everyone!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Some More Snatch Experimenting

March was a good month for training. Even though I've had to cut back in some areas, I have kept up my consistency and hopefully that will prove to be the critical element in being prepared for RKC. Of course, along the way I continue to experiment, learn and adjust - all critical to being successful with kettlebell training as well as life in general. Most important - keep moving forward and continue to improve.

March consisted of 16 workout sessions within the 31 days of the month. So I beat the 50% threshold, and have worked out at least every other day!!

April has now officially begun and we are already off to a strong start - 1 for 1! Here's what today looked like...

Shoulder Flow: 12kg - 1/1

Overhead Squats: Empty EZ Curl Bar - 10, 10

Snatch: 12kg - 1 Snatch every 8 seconds - 25/25

Fighter Pushups: 10, 10, 10

My workout time was shortened a bit this morning as my now (officially) 2-year old woke up at 5:30 crying because of some teeth cutting through his gums. Teething is a nasty thing for kids. But I accomplished what I had hoped and that was performing my timed Snatches.

Performing a few like this seems pretty easy. Once you start getting up into the higher numbers, even the light 12kg starts to take its toll. To be honest, I was glad when I hit my 25 on each side. Working up to these sorts of numbers with the bigger bells is going to be interesting. Now we wait and see how the shoulders/forearms feel tomorrow.

That's it for today. Swing 'em high everyone!