Monday, August 31, 2009

A Push From My Friends

After reading all the posts and watching the videos from my friends who competed at the World Kettlebell Lifting Championships this past weekend, I received a push from them that inspired me to hit the bells hard today. This workout is dedicated to each of you!

Jerk: 2 x 20kg - 7 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 20kg - 6 minutes @ 14 rpm

My jerk mentality is now "get to the 5 minute mark, and then hang on for another minute, a few more times". Seems to be working!

My hands held up incredibly well today too, no problems! I guess my technique tweak helped.

Rank II is now in my sights....

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Sweet Spot

Feeling ok today. Have been up since about 4am so was running a little low on gas this afternoon.I wanted to put my snatch refinements to the test today, so stuck with a basic jerk set before my snatches.

Jerk: 2 x 20kg - 5 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 20kg - 6 minutes @ 12 rpm

Jerks felt ok even though I was tired. I was very pleased with my snatches! Both hands still had relatively fresh tears on them so this was meant to be a real test of technique. Only toward the end of each arm's time did I start to feel my palms starting to grab a bit, and this I attribute to the fatigue. My left hand fared better than my right. I took off just a bit more skin on the right hand, at the same spot that I tore earlier in the week, and none on the left hand. And on more than one occasion, I felt like I hit the sweet spot on the drop! It was a nice feeling. So this will now be something that I will continue to improve and strive toward.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

PR Territory & Snatch Diagnostics

My wife did me a solid last night and let me catch up on some sleep. (Tonight I have to reciprocate.) So I was feeling pretty good for today's outing.I was intent on working my jerks with the 20kg's but wanted to take a step back on my snatches to try to determine what in my technique needed to be adjusted to help from having the bell catch my palms instead of my fingers.

Jerk: 2 x 20kg - 6 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 8kg - 4 minutes @ 16 rpm

Snatch: 12kg - 4 minutes @ 16 rpm

Snatch: 20kg - 2 minutes @ 14 rpm

My jerks are feeling pretty good. This was a PR. As I start making progress with these 20kg bells, each step forward is going to be a PR. This is all new territory for me. Exciting, huh?!!

I could have stretched this set out another minute, but then I thought, "what's the rush?". So rather than be too sore tomorrow, I ended at 6 minutes and will save the first 7 minute outing for another day.

I think my snatch diagnostics went well also. It appeared that I was dropping the bell away from my body somewhat which was causing me to grab onto it harder than necessary hence catching my palm on the down swing. Like I said, I think this causing the tears. Now I'll just have to focus on this change in future sessions. We'll see. It's all good!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

World Kettlebell Club Rank III Achieved!

I was informed today that I have officially achieved Rank III with the World Kettlebell Club.

What that means is, for me specifically with my body weight falling into the 75kg category, I needed to complete, using 16kg bells, a minimum of 58 jerks and 100 snatches (50 left & 50 right) each in under 10 minutes without putting the kettlebells down. I'll be posting the videos that were submitted to YouTube later this week.

For today's session, I decided to swap out the 16kg bells with 20kg bells. Here's today's workout...

Jerk: 2 x 20kg - 5 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 20kg - 6 minutes @ 14 rpm

That's it and that's all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

An Easy Day

OK, I'm back at it once again! I'm back to work today. I now have to adjust for being up during the night for feeding the baby. Last night I was up at 2:45am, back to sleep at 3:30, then the alarm went off at 5:00. Not too bad. Lots of coffee certainly helps.

Being off last week I didn't want to hit it too hard today, so I stuck with a light schedule.

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 5 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 6 minutes @ 16 rpm

I have to say, I am amazed at how differently jerks are feeling for me as of late. I can actually say that as far as jerks go, this set felt easy. My rack feels more comfortable and the jerks themselves are feeling tight and crisp. I think when I started focusing on being violent (aggressive) off of the first dip, I tightened up the movement and am now trying to get under the bells faster rather than trying to press them upward. What's the most interesting is how quickly it occurred as if someone flipped a switch. It's a very cool feeling!

Tomorrow, assuming I am not totally sleepless tonight, I will push the jerks further.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Something Different?

Tomorrow I'm back to work and that means I'm also back to regular training. No sleep or not, I'm going to have to stick it out as best I can.

To get things moving today, I decided to change it up a bit for fun.

One-Arm Press:
16kg - 10/10
20kg - 10/10
24kg - 5/5
28kg - 1/1

Windmill: 16kg - 5/5, 5/5

Swing: 16kg - 30/30 (this was one minute per arm)

That gave me a nice sweat. It's super humid today. As it's been lately. I'm having a hard time keeping the handles on my bells rust-free. I keep getting rust spots coming up which means getting out the sandpaper, clearing them off then chalking them up good. I'm going to enjoy the Fall!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peak Physique in Spring Valley, NY

Last week I had the pleasure of paying a visit with Steve Eckert and Eva Jundo at their facility in Spring Valley.

Eva and Steve have a very nice place with everything one needs to get into shape properly. Eva and Steve offer one-on-one personal training sessions along with various boot camp, kettlebell, boxing and self defense classes.

For the full story, you can find them here:

Steven and Eva were also kind enough to open their space to me for training my own clients, which I thank them for. Training people part-time as I do, without a permanent facility, has meant that I have had to turn down clients in the past. But no more!

Therefore if you are looking for a structured workout schedule, please contact Steve and Eva, at:

Steve Eckert
Phone: 845-893-6529

Ewa Jundo
Phone: 201-925-1860

And if you are interested in a one-on-one or group kettlebell session with me, you know how to find me. =)

In the meantime, train hard, train safe and have fun!

My Sleepy Update

Not a lot has been happening the past few days. I've been home from work so every day has been trying to help take care of the baby and Anthony so Mommy can get her rest and sleep. We're both tired, being up during the night, but for me once I'm up, it takes a lot for me to nap unless I'm really zonked.

So there hasn't been any time for the bells over the last few days. I have been doing a little bit of joint mobility work but nothing else. I return to work on Monday, which means I will have my lunch hours again to get back into some regular training. Until then, I'm not going to sweat it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Taking the 20kg's Out for a Ride

No training over the weekend. Baby has been keeping us BUSY!

Even though I had very little sleep last night and today is probably the hottest day of the year here in NY, I decided to give the 20kg bells a ride today.

It's literally been months since I picked these guys up. I haven't totally dropped the 16kg bells yet, but want to start introducing the 20's in slowly until I hear back on my Rank III attempt.

Today's observation: the 20kg bells are heavier than the 16kg bells!

None the less, had a good outing...

Jerk: 2 x 20kg - 5 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 20kg - 6 minutes @ 12rpm

My grip started to leave me toward the end of each minute during my snatches. But I was able to hold on and no tears!

This jerk set was one rep shy of my earlier PR with the 20kg bells. I have a feeling it won't be a hard PR to break.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Smash It!

Very good session today. I took the bells outside and found a bit of shade. Chalked up and went to town.

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 7-1/2 minutes - 67 reps

Snatch: 16kg - 8 minutes @ 14 rpm

I video taped today's session and will be submitting to the WKC for Rank III. Hopefully my technique was solid enough to achieve rank. I'm weighing in at the 75kg body weight category so I needed to achieve 58 jerks and 100 snatches (50L/50R). Tomorrow I drop the DVD in the mail and then wait.

Feels good!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Faster Still

Good session today. Lots of coffee this morning! I wanted to experiment my jerks at a 10 rpm pace. I was surprised at how easily they went up. It's amazing how different a five minute set can feel after a steady stream of training!

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 5 minutes @ 10 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 6 minutes @ 14 rpm

During my jerk set I was very focused on my 'intent' with each rep. Each rep went up crisp and clean. Surprised myself!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day One of No Sleep

Last night was my (our) first with limited sleep. We brought the baby home from the hospital yesterday, I tried to keep her up until around midnight, got to bed a little after that, got up around 2am to see if my wife needed help with her, was back up at 4am to feed her then finally up for the day around 6am.

I didn't want to push it too much today. I'm now in my garage and it's a hot, hot, humid day here in NY.

This is today...

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 5 minutes @ 6 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 6 minutes @ 16 rpm

I'm amazed at how much more 'doable' these jerk sets are now feeling. They used to feel impossible. I could have pushed further but I figured to save that for tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, etc.

During my snatches I tried to focus on dropping the bell into my fingers. Seemed ok early on but as the set progressed so did that articulation. Just something else I now need to keep track of in my head I guess.

That's it for today!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

I'd like to introduce to the world, the newest addition to the Brewer family and kettlebell community, Alexandra Nicole Brewer!

She joined us yesterday, Saturday, 8 August 2009. She weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and measured 19 inches.

Both she and mommy are doing fine!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Baby Time!

Just as I finished off today's quick workout, I got the word that my wife's water broke. We're now waiting for the contractions to increase before heading into the hospital. Tomorrow at this time I should be a new daddy for the second time!

Short session today...

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 5 minutes @ 8 rpm

Swing: 16kg - 20L/20R

That's it! I guess I'll be taking the next few days off from training!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


No, not the KOL song, but closer to my Rank III jerk numbers. Actually very close. As on the cusp!

Here's today's session...

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 8 minutes @ 7 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 6 minutes @ 14 rpm

Treadmill: 20 minute walk/run

Today's jerk set was only 2 reps away from the number needed to achieve Rank III. What an awesome feeling!! I took a 5 minute rest in between lifts, then went at it. I wanted to go eight minutes with the snatch but the humidity was killing my hands so I cut it short. Yessa!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not too bad a session today. The garage was pretty humid and although I chalked my bell up good, I lost a wee bit of skin on my left palm. Oh well, it shouldn't hamper training tomorrow after a bit of O'Keefe's.

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 7 minutes @ 7 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 6 minutes @ 16 rpm

Treadmill: 10 minute walk/run

I could have pushed through another minute of jerks without too much pain, but 7 minutes was my goal for today, so I took it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Picking Up the Pace

As things have been feeling good lately, I was considering testing for Rank III today. But over the weekend as I thought about it, I realized that I would need to go a full 10 minutes in jerk to hit my numbers with a little cushion, while only 8 minutes in snatch for an equivalent cushion. That's seemed a little lopsided to me.

So I decided to start working on increasing my pace a bit in the jerk (from 6 rpm to 7 rpm). This little improvement will allow me that cushion that I would like to have. And ultimately, increasing up to 8 rpm, would be clear sailing. Also, considering that future ranks require a slightly higher number of jerks than this one, I am probably wiser to start working on this pace now rather than later.

Here is today's session...

Jerk: 2 x 16kg - 5 minutes @ 7 rpm

Snatch: 16kg - 8 minutes @ 14 rpm

Treadmill: 20 minutes - walk/run

That's it.