Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A 10 minute set!

Last night I achieved my first 10 minute set. And I think I had a little left in the tank. It was kind of a fluke. I went in with a goal of a solid 6 minute set, but I just kept going.

I switched hands at 5 minutes, from right to left and I think I could have gone a little longer on the right if I needed to.

I paced the whole set at 12RPM (1 snatch every 5 seconds) so I ended up with 120 reps, 60R/60L.

My hands handled the set fine, a little rubbing on my left palm towards the end. My hand was so fatigued I couldn't rotate the bell properly.

Not sure where to go from here, maybe back down to 6 minutes and I'll up the pace to 15RPM and work back up to a 10 minute set.

After the snatch set I banged out a set of one handed swings. All my KB sets where done with a 16kg bell.

5 sets of Double Clubbell Swipes w/ the 10lbs clubs and some quick mill practice rounded out the session.

I'm very pleased with the progress so far, it's always more fun when you progress faster than expected!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday's Training

Monday was a good day.

After a great kettlebell class at Westwood Fitness Center I was ready to go. I'm always in the mood for a good, hard training session after this class. These people take everything I throw at them. That just gets me pumped.

So here's how it went down:

Back Squat 5x3 @ 135, 155, 185, 205, 225
Press/pull up ladder 3x1,2,3 w/ 24kg bell and BW for the pull ups
2 arm swing with 40kg 5x5

I was really trying to find a groove for the back with low bar position, I think I got it, but it may take a few more sessions.

Tonight we'll hit some timed sets for snatches and some high volume swings.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Last weeks training

Last weeks training didn't go so well. Structured training session were pretty much non-existent.

We have been really pressed for for training time while working triple time to get all the projects we have started around the house before we get it up for sale.

luckily for me I have a 24kg bell in my office at the family business so last week consisted of lots of press ladders through out the day as well as impromptu snatch sets.

It's the only bell I had so I made due.

I was pleasantly surprised by my pressing strength and how little I felt it "in" my shoulder. That was an issue in the past on my right side, so it looks like the extra rest and limited heavy overhead exercises have paid off.

So this week, now that all of the big stuff around the house is pretty much taken care off I can get back on the horse, start building my time back up for snatches and swings as well as getting my deadlift cycle back on track.

We'll see ho this week goes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Start of a New DL Cycle

I deadlift for the first time in a long time today. I figured just in case we are in TX by the next TSC I should be able at least DL the same amount if not a 10lb PR.

Not to mention I'd like to be on somewhat the same page and the hosts Jason Marshall and Alan Martin. These boys are strong.

I kept it simple. Since I had 20 and 25kg plates I did a warm up with 60kg and 3 work sets with 110kg all for three reps.

Three reps seems to be the limit for me, after 3 I just lose interest.

Followed up with 3 ladder up to 3 for press with a 16kg bell

Last a 4 minute Snatch set with one hand switch at 2 mins done at 12RPM. I was still a little tired from the 7 minute sets a few night ago, I could really feel it in my grip and wasn't getting good hand placement on the back swing.

I practice few snatches and toyed grabbing the handle slightly different and I think I found what I need to be doing in order to maintain the "OK" sign onthe back swing.

Better luck tomorrow.

The only time I like the cold...

Temperature at Kickoff on Sunday: -2 degrees, The high for the day is only 1 degree.
Winds: 10-12 miles an hour
Wind Chill: I thought I heard -15ish

I have been to some cold games at Lambeau. Funny thing is, once your inside your not cold. Your "seat" is 16" of space on a bleacher. Hardly enough room for most Wisconsinites, so as you may have's a tight fit in the stands. But, it keeps you warm.

I wish I were going to this one, but tickets are going for about 1500-2000 bucks.

Fun Fact: Eli Manning's favorite show is Seinfeld. The local TV stations in Green Bay that carry Seinfeld re-runs will not be showing the sit-com, instead there are rumors they will be showing Packer High-Light shows.

Not training related, but it's pretty much all that people are talking about here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First 7 minute set...

So I got my first 7 minute set last night, not too shabby. It was tough and toward the last 30 seconds on each my technique sucked big time.

My corkscrew was off and the bell handle kept catching my palm. I can feel it in my hands today pretty bad.

So last nights session:

7 minute Snatch set @12RPM w/16kg
one arm swings 40/40, 20/20, 20/20, 20/20
Swipes w/ 2 10lb clubs 5x5

I was drained before training so this just enough for last night.

I have to go back and re-watch the swipe segment of Coach Sonnon's DVD, something just doesn't feel like it's "flowing" with the cast portion of the move. Hopefully it hasn't been packed yet.

Tonight I plan on toying with the deadlift so I can hopefully start a new cycle leading up to the TSC.

Hopefully I'll be able to make it the Lubbock, TX TSC and compete with our friends Jason and Allen.

Not sure if I'll make any PRs but it will be fun non-the-less.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back in the saddle


My last workout was CrossFit's Cindy.

5 Pullups
10 Push ups
15 Squats

Do this for 20 minutes for as many rounds as possible.

I completed 15 full rounds plus 5 pull ups an 10 push ups of round 16, my goal is to get 20+ during 2008.

This felt great, I have made steady progress since doing this workout every couple of weeks.

The pull ups are what get you, but as I get the kipping technique down, my numbers keeping going up.

Since then I have been on my ass with a cold. I felt it "coming on" on Thursday, but pushed through and paid the price.

Tonight will be my first session back.

On the docket:

timed snatch sets 2 x 6 mins. @ 12RPM w/16kg
one arm swings 5 x Max Reps w/24kg
And finish with some 2 CB Swipes w/10lb

My good friend Rif has been working on his swipe numbers and has motivated me to wipe the dust off my Clubbells and use swipes and Mills as finishers.

And although I have not had the best customer service 'run-ins' w/ Torque Athletic (long story), I am tossing around the idea of getting a 25lb club. We'll see, but I hate giving my money to people who don't stand behind their service or their sub-contractors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What a Jerk!

Last night was my first real attempt at a timed set of Kettlebell Jerks.

I didn't know what to expect in terms of how long I would be able to go, so I set my sights at a low but attainable goal from which I could build on.

The Kettlebell Jerk, for some people, is a tricky move. The second dip seems to be what these folks have a hard time performing.

Personally I don't think of it as a dip. I mentally tell myself to push my body under the bell, as if the bell is fixed. I try make it feel the same as a barbell (split) jerk.

You can imitate this feeling with an adjustable pull up bar.

Set the bar to just above shoulder height.

Stand in front, facing the bar and grip it with a pronated grip.

Now, this will be hard to out into words, but jump yourself under the bar to arm lockout and remember how it feels to forcefully push yourself underneath.

Mimic this feeling with the bell, then stand up.

Get it?

Well, try it a few times and you'll know what I'm trying to say.


Single Arm Jerks w/ a 16kg bell.

First set was 4 minutes with one rep every 12 seconds. One hand switch at 2 minutes.

Again you need to have a
Gymboss Interval Timer
to keep your pace.

Just set it 12 seconds and every time it beeps do a rep.

It's that simple.

So, Yeah. First set 4 minutes, not bad, not too tiring. It was only 20 reps.

I took a short break and then did a 6 minute sets.

This was a little tougher. I was more fatigued than I thought and it was getting tough to hold the bell in the rack.

Oddly, my pec was fatiguing more than anything.

But I got through it.

I banged out a quick 4 minute snatch set and 12 RPM. This was OK, grip was an issue.

I had to take a 30 minute break and finished with 2 sets of one arm swings in my parents living room (see post below for explanation)

These were tough but do-able. One set of 30/30 and one set of 25/25.

I'm happy with it.

Hopefully by the end of the week our bathroom will be done and we won't have to make the night trek for a working shower and we can crank up the intensity and volume in our session.

Tonight will be CrossFit's Cindy. Now that I have my kipping down, I should add some rounds compared to the last time this test came up.

We'll see!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

6 minutes and counting...

With our house in shambles in the midst of a re-model...we have no bathroom.

No, really.

OK, we have a second toilet in the basement powder room...But that's it.

So, since we returned from Texas we have made nightly trips to my parents in North Prairie, 20-30 minutes away, to take showers.

This has taken a toll on the training schedule, but we have managed to get some pretty good sessions in.

Every year it seems I start a good way. More technical work, lower load and so on. It just seems right and I have never lost any noticeable amount of strength.

I have decided in 2008 I want to "go the whole ten minutes" with one hand switch, first with the 16kg, then slowly move to the 24kg.

So last night, in my parents living room, was the second time I completed a 6 minute set, changing hands at 3 minutes. The load was my 16kg Pro-Grade bell (Christmas present to myself).

At a pace of 12 RPM I completed 72 reps.

This is where a
Gymboss Timer
really comes in handy.

I set the timer for 5 seconds which equates to 12 RPM. The timer beeps every five seconds and I complete a rep and hold the bell overhead until the timer sounds again.

You're probably thinking, "But, with only 16kg that should be a piece of cake." Guess again.

It's tougher than it sounds.

After that set I did two more 2 minute sets, switching hands at the 1 minute mark.

Finished it up with a set of 25 R/L One Hand Swings.

All and all not a bad session (in light of being in my parents living room), hit my goal of six minutes. Upping the time will be rough and seems to be as much mental as it does physical.

Next stop: 7 minutes @ 12 RPM. That's a total of 84 reps, not record breaking and I know I could pound out plenty more if I upped the pace. I trying to take the way of the tortoise, slow and steady.

It'll be interesting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back From TX.

What a trip!

No snow, a little rain and temperatures in, at least the 50's (some in the 60's and one in the 70's) was a welcomed change.

It was great to workout outside. There was a park 2 blocks from my mother-in-laws. We "played" there on almost a daily basis.

Push Ups
"Box" jumps
Bodyweight Rows
Burpees (150 for time on one day)

We even went for a run on a couple of the days, until Kori wiped out, tripping on a raised slab of sidewalk. That pretty much put an end to the running.

Now it's time to get serious again.

Even with all the activity I managed to weigh in at a whopping 176 (heavy for me), up 8lbs.

So, what to do?


It's time to get to work!

Lots of Deadlifts and variations. Squats, too. I have stop OLY lifting for now, our platform is in the garage, and today's high is 18. Nuf said.

Lots of Snatches, I would like to get to point where I can go 10 minutes with one hand switch, with the 16kg first then the 24kg. Like most things this will be a large increase in work capacity, but also a good deal of work on technique. This is one "event" I won't be able to muscle my way through.

I think I would like to work on Jerks, too. I haven't done many in the past, but it looks like it would be "fun". And I know we will be doing some at the RKC Level II, so I might as well get acquainted with them.

I also want to keep up with doing CrossFit's MetCon stuff, it's fun, it's tough and it's a real challenge because since switching to mainly KB training, many of the moves I haven't trained in a long time.

In '08 I plan on making a much bigger commitment to flexibility. I was doing really well for the better part of the year, mobility work every morning, RIS after training, but then I got lazy.

Guess what happened. Hip flexor issues. I need to stay on this muscle group, keep them loose and stay open. Of course, my hips getting tight led to an unhappy right shoulder. But, everything seems to be good now.

Things will kick off tonight with some snatch practice and then a workout from Brad Nelson, just some burpees and swings. If you know Brad, this will be a lot harder than it looks on paper.

That's all I got.