Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Plow

I video taped myself today demonstrating how I get myself into the Plow position. Please excuse any stammering on the video, it was unrehearsed.

This is just one of the movements found in Scott Sonnon's Kettlebell Foundation DVD Series. I strongly recommend every kettlebell lifter to buy a copy as it is filled with very powerful information to assist in your kettlebell training and health in general.

Scott does a much better job explaining and demonstrating than I do, so please use my demonstration as just that. If you find it may help you, go out and buy the real thing!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Nice Week of Kettlebell Work!

TGIF! Let's call it a week!

Adjusting for my new schedule this week, things are moving along nicely. I'll be taking the weekend off, except for some IntuFlow and Yoga.

It was cold again today in the garage. My breath was condensing before my eyes. But I ignored it and hit it hard and fast.

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 4 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 4 minutes @ 16 rpm

I was pleased at how these felt, particularly the snatches. If it was a tad warmer and I had a bit more feeling in my hands and fingers, the set would have been more enjoyable, but the breathing held up well as did my form. I'm pleased going into the weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Something Different

Used the corporate fitness facility today for a more traditional workout. Since it's been a while performing these exercises, I took it slow and went easy. No need for any unnecessary DOMS.

Pullups - 3 sets of 5
Dips - 3 sets of 5
Pistols - 5/5 holding a 10lb plate in front
Ab Wheel - 2 sets of 5
Quad Squats
Leg Swoops
And Kettlebell Compensatory Movements.

Tomorrow... more bells!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Frozen Hands

Today was the first day for working out in the garage on my lunch hour. I trained with a friend who is relatively new to the bells, so we took turns working our sets. This allowed me to watch him and provide feedback. The garage today was uncommonly COLD. And since I had my bells in the trunk of my car, they were terribly cold as well. The handles were freezing and after some time, my fingers were frozen making it difficult to really be comfortable cleaning the bells when needed.

Here's my session....

1-Arm Cleans: 16kg - 4 minutes @ 16 rpm

Push Press: 16kg - 4 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle (Jerk) - 4 minutes @ 10 rpm

1-Arm Jerk: 24kg - 2 minutes @ 10 rpm

Today's session was a bit limited in time, so there was no real cool down except for a shower. This could get interesting. Maybe something different tomorrow...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Need to Work on My Catch

Afternoon workout went well today. Next time out I will start to shorten my rest breaks to 90 seconds when using the WKC Fitness Protocol.

Here's today's session...

Push Press: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 16 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 16 rpm

Long Cycle (Jerk): 16kg - 3 minutes @ 10 rpm

All felt good the 2 minute rest in between sets made it feel relatively easy until I hit the Long Cycle, then I felt like I was working.

I can sense that I am catching the bell differently in my left hand from my right. During my Snatch and Long Cycle, my right hand definitely feels like it has a better grip so I'll need to work on this. Maybe some more sets of Cleans. On the left side I feel like I am catching more of the meat in the middle of my hand versus the right. I think since my right side is my dominant side, I am better throwing the bell into my fingers on the downswing whereas I am in a sense rolling it to my fingers on the left side. It's very easy to identify the difference so hopefully with a little more focused attention I can remedy things pretty quickly. That's it and that's all!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Mystery Solved & Jerk Progression

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to have my new 15 lb. clubbells delivered to my office. Surprised because I had not received a shipping notice and was therefore not expecting them. Well, let me tell you, these things feel HEAVY! Understanding that I will need to grow into these, but still having to demonstrate briefly to my excited friends and coworkers, I showed a few side swipes and hammer swings with just one of the clubs.

Waking up this morning, the answer to one of my questions hit my like a dump truck. My back was sore!! So part of my troubles had been the mini clubbells I was using as part of the Xtension program. My back is obviously my weakest link right now and apparently the lateral movements are not something I can handle at the moment. I'll have to figure out a way to gradually strengthen this area.

Anyway, not wanting to add too much stress to this today, I decided to remain upright in today's session and worked my Jerk Progression. Here's how it looked:

Press: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 12 rpm

Push Press: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Jerk: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 16 rpm

Took 2 minute break in between sets. Cooled down with a few compensatory movements. Tomorrow I will try to video of few of these and post. That's it for today!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Up A Notch

Since my back has been behaving as of late, I decided to increase my working sets from 2 to 3 minutes tonight. Hopefully, things will continue improving.

1-Arm Clean: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 16 rpm

Press: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 12 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle Push Press: 16kg - 3 minutes @ 10 rpm

Rested 2 min between sets.

Could definitely feel the 50% increase from the previous level of training.

Cool down consisted of the usual compensatory movements. I must admit I am very pleased with how my plow posture is coming along. I can actually work on raising my hips while at the same time have the balls of my feet on the floor with my knees locked! I few months ago, this alone seemed impossible. Nice!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Evening Session

Started my new schedule today at the office, but did not have a chance to workout in the garage. But I was able to squeeze one in this evening. Quick and dirty.

Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 12 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle Push Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 10 rpm

Took a 30 second rest in between sets. Respiration help up well. As long as my back hangs in there after this one, I'll start increasing the set times next session.

Oh yeah, some quick compensatory movements afterward. That's all for today!

Monday, January 19, 2009

3 In A Row

Another decent day as far as the back goes. Knowing that tomorrow will be an Intu-Flow-Only Day, I decided to give the bells another go today.

Warmed up with the 6lb ball - some big circles and standing twists.

1-Arm Push Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 16 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle Push Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 10 rpm

Cooled down with the usual selection of compensatory movements.

This week I will be making a temporary shift in the hours that I need to be in the office. I'll be going in for 7am, which means I need to leave the house at 6am, which means that my early morning workouts will not be possible. Therefore, I am going to gym the little corporate gym facility that is in my office complex. Unfortunately, I have already spoken to them and they will not let me bring my bells into their club for insurance reasons. So the plan is to keep my gear in my car, find a nice empty space in the garage and work my sets. When complete, I go into the gym to stretch out and shower and then back to work. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Groundhog's Day?

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. My back was a bit sore and tight, but that's the usual these days. After a bit of heat and a warmup consisting of removing snow from my driveway and walkway, I felt inspired to have at another kettlebell session today.

Almost identical to yesterday's session...

1-Arm Clean: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 12 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle Push Press: 16kg - 2 minutes @ 10 rpm

Windmill: 12kg - 5/5

Finished with a selection of compensatory movements.

Was this exactly identical to yesterday's session?? Almost. Except that I bumped up to the next size bell on each of the exercises. I guess I was feeling better than expected today. I sure hope that continues!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Easy Going

Another easy workout today. The first in a few days. Will wait to see how my back feels after this session. Performing the workout was easy. So easy, that I wanted to do more. But as I am now used to, I held back.

1-Arm Clean: 12kg - 2 minutes @ 16 rpm

1-Arm Press: 12kg - 2 minutes @ 12 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle Push Press: 12kg - 2 minutes @ 10 rpm

Windmill: 8kg - 5/5

Finished with a selection of compensatory movements. That's it and that's all!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Quiet Week

Things have been quiet here for the past week. I had decided to lay off of training for a few days to give my back some rest, which I think it needs.

I have been practicing my Intu-Flow only throughout much of the time, mostly the Intermediate program but I also sprinkled in the Beginner routine as well.

I still have some tightness, mostly as a result of shoveling snow a few days back. I'm hoping to swing the 12kg bells again this weekend, ever so gently to see how my back takes to it. I've a feeling I'll be ramping up slowly again. Slow and steady, eh?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Few Steps Back

I've been taking it easy the past few days as my back continues to throw up road blocks toward my progress. I'm finding it bizarre that very similar muscular pain has now developed in the exact same place on the opposite side of my back from the injury I'm now recovering from.

Therefore the last few days have consisted of some Intu-Flow (with Xtension), some Kettlebell Foundation Compensatory Movements and FlowFit.

I am fortunate to have a friend who had an extra copy of the FlowFit DVD and was kind enough to give it to me. It received it yesterday, watched it through last night and experimented with it this morning. Up until now I had used Coach Steer's web videos as my guide for this. Now I see the whole picture and can visualize where the development of these skills will take me.

The goal of FlowFit is to perform the movements continuously, flowing one movement into the next, for 14-18 minutes, while maintaining prescribed levels of technique, exertion and discomfort. Even at the beginning stages are not easy if you are just starting out. These are whole-body movements with ranges of motion that most people do not usually work through - they are designed to move you through all 3 dimensions.

I'm going to take a few days off from the bells, continue to work my body in this manner and maybe within a week or so return to the bells, dropping back the intensity once again and see how things feel building back up again. I have also found that there is a rolfer not too far from my home and may try to give that a shot if my schedule allows. That's it for now, stay tuned.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Sunday of the New Year

Even though I wake up with a particularly tight back in the morning, I usually feel pretty good as the day goes on. Today was no different, so I decided to make it a Jerk Day.

Early this morning I practiced the Intermediate Intu-Flow program along with a few of my Muscular Retraining exercises.

This afternoon consisted of the following...

Swing: 12kg - 20/20


2 x 12kg - 6 minutes @ 6 rpm

2 x 16kg - 2 minutes @ 6 rpm

1-Arm Long Cycle: 20kg - 4 minutes @ 8 rpm (switching hands each minute)

Cooled down with Kettlebell Foundation Compensatory Movements.

It's been a while since I've done any real work with bigger bells and my hands could feel the difference using the 20kg. My plan is to slowly add in the bigger bells for the sake of my back. At the same time, it should help my hands acclimate as well. So far, so good! Jerk 'em up y'all!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Not too much going on the last few days. My back held up relatively well from the heavier snatches, but definitely needed some recovery time before asking it to give it another go with the bells. So here's how I filled the time...

Yesterday was Intu-Flow Intermediate program only.

Today was a pass through FlowFit, a selection of mini clubbell movements and finished off with a selection of Compensatory movements.

I sense tennis balls will also come into play before today is through...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Snatches

Happy 2009 Everyone!

I am greatly looking forward to 2009 being a great year filled with happiness, love and continued progress down the road of health, strength and longevity.

I saw a news article yesterday with the title something like, "World in Fear Looks Forward to New Year". The article was referring to the world's fear regarding the economic environment. I found this to be preposterous. When I wake up in the morning, I am grateful to have my health and my family and friends around me. No matter how the economic world behaves, the sun is always going to come up the next morning. Enjoy the sun. Feel it's warmth. Enjoy the air. These are all still free! Enjoy the warmth and softness of a hug. (These are usually free.)

At the same time, we can also appreciate the feeling of a steel ball in your hand as you swing it, jerk it, press it and snatch it! Enjoy the exertion. Enjoy the feeling of strength as you hoist that thing into the air. Enjoy the feeling of your heart pumping and your lungs expanding and the sweat running down your forehead. These are all good too!

So to start off the new year right, I decided to push myself a little bit today with the introduction of some 20kg Snatches. Here's what the session looked like...

Swing: 12kg - 15/15; 16kg - 15/15

12kg - 6 minutes @ 14 rpm (84 total)
16kg - 2 minutes @ 12 rpm (24 total)
20kg - 2 minutes @ 12 rpm (24 total)

Warmed down with a selection of compensatory movements.

That's it for today. Happy New Year!